For the what will be the fourth time in six NWHL seasons, a Laing sister will be suiting up in a Boston Pride uniform. Following a highly successful rookie run in the league – one that is not quite finished just yet – forward Lexie Laing is primed to return for a sophomore campaign. Word was released on Apr. 13 that she had re-signed with the Pride.
“My coaches and teammates with the Pride created a great atmosphere and made every day at the rink worthwhile,” Laing said in the press release for her signing. “Boston really does have the greatest sports fans. It shows every time we have a game, so playing in front of a packed crowd really motivated my return.”
Laing was selected 12th overall during the 2017 NWHL Draft. Her sisters Denna, a forward and original NWHLer, and goaltender Brianna have both suited up for the Pride in previous seasons. Lexie, the youngest of the three, is a critical signing for Boston to continue its dominance in the league.
Topnotch Scoring in Only Her First Season
Laing never missed a beat after making the transition from NCAA play to the NWHL.
Through her five seasons with the Harvard Crimson (she redshirted the 2017-18 season), she went 33-58-91 for scoring in 130 career games. Laing was her team’s leading scorer in her 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons. She set career highs for assists (18) and points (26) in her senior season.
Upon turning pro, she upped those totals even more. Laing was one of Pride’s seven players who scored at a point-per-game pace during the 2019-20 regular season. She hit double digits in all three scoring categories by generating 12 goals, 15 assists and 27 points.
Playing in all 24 regular season games, Laing’s point total tied her for fourth place on the team with veteran Emily Fluke. Additionally, her three game-winning goals were third most on the roster. 11 of her 24 contests were multi-point games from Laing.
“Lexie is awesome in every aspect of the game,” said Pride head coach Paul Mara. “For comparison, I’d say that the great Patrice Bergeron is the Lexie Laing of the Bruins.”
Some Additional Thoughts From Lexie
Laing recognizes that in her first pro season, not only did she maintain the offensive prowess she showed in college, but she became even more potent. As she grew as an all-around contributor, her stat production went upward. Laing attributes at least some of that success to having outstanding coaching, and being able to play in familiar confines.
“I think my Pride coaches did a great job of aiding my transition to professional hockey,” Laing told THW. “Also, not having to leave the great hockey town of Boston helped too!”
Laing’s production was part of a Boston juggernaut team that led the entire league with 120 goals in 24 games. The next highest total was 106 by the Minnesota Whitecaps, while no other NWHL team even reached 100.
Laing was one of five Pride players to surpass the 10-goal mark. Doing the simple math, she accounted for 10% of her team’s total goal production. A rather impressive statistic for a first-year player.
While the 2019-20 Isobel Cup Final game still needs to be played to determine the championship, Laing feels that her team needs to maintain what they have already generated as the look to next season. The recently completed regular season saw the Pride go 23-1-0 – about as close as a team can come to total domination of the 5-team league.
“I think our team needs to keep working on our team chemistry and tenacity,” she told THW. “We had such a great team energy and relentlessness on the ice and if we focus on that aspect of the game we will be in a great spot.”
If Laing and company keep that same “relentlessness”, that “energy”, then 2020-21 could very well see them repeat a performance similar to their 23-1-0 record, if not better it.
General Manager of the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL). Hockey history writer “The Hockey Writers”. Credentialed media for the NHL Combine and 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, USA. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Lifelong hockey fan for over 40 years. Proponent of the women’s game.