A third Laing sister will now be suiting up in a Boston Pride uniform. Word was released on the morning of Jun. 3, 2019 that the Pride had inked one of their 2017 NWHL Draft selections in forward Lexie Laing. Her sisters Brianna and Denna have both worn the uniform of “The Pack” since the league’s inception in 2015.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity to be able to continue my career in Boston,” Laing said in the press release about her signing. “Boston is my home and where all my important life events occurred. I grew up here, went to school here and now get to extend my hockey career here.”
Laing just completed her fifth season of NCAA play with the Harvard Crimson at the close of the 2018-19 season. One of her teammates during her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons was her goaltender sister Brianna, beginning in 2014-15. After redshirting 2017-18, Laing completed her senior campaign as both Harvard’s team captain and leading scorer.
A Signing for the Heartstrings
It would only be fitting that Laing would someday don the Pride uniform. When it finally happens once the 2019-20 season gets underway, the significance of it will not be lost or overlooked by women’s hockey fans.
In addition to Brianna – who tended net for Boston during the 2017-18 NWHL season – their older sister Denna was an original member of the team in the inaugural 2015-16 season. Denna suffered a severe spinal cord injury while playing for the Pride in the Women’s Winter Classic on Dec. 31, 2015. In honor of Denna, every player in the NWHL has worn a sticker with Denna’s number 24 on their helmets since that time.
When Boston selected Lexie Laing with the 12th overall pick in 2017, it helped complete the circle in some ways for the Laing family with the Pride organization.
“It means the world to me to be able to sign with the Boston Pride,” Laing stated. “Ever since the NWHL started, I wanted to play professional hockey with the Pride. It will also be great to serve as a role model for the players that are the future of women’s professional hockey.”
Laing Adds Reliable Scoring to the Roster
In addition to the Laing signing being a heartwarming one, it is also a move that bolsters Boston’s offensive capabilities. Laing was a consistent scorer throughout her entire collegiate career at Harvard. In each of her four full seasons with the Crimson, she reached double digits in points.
During her freshman season of 2014-15, she set a career high of 10 goals in 36 games. That tied Laing for the third-most scored on the Crimson’s roster that season. Some of Harvard’s other high-end goal scorers alongside Laing that season included NWHL alums Miye D’Oench, Sydney Daniels, Mary Parker and Hillary Crowe.
For both 2016-17 and 2018-19 – her final full seasons of NCAA play – she was Harvard’s leading scorer. Laing set additional career highs for assists (18) and points (26) in only 31 games during her last go-round with the Crimson. By the time she wrapped up her career earlier this spring, she had scored 91 points (33 goals, 58 assists) in 130 games.
What is also important to note is that Laing’s scoring can be considered timely. Of the 33 goals she scored during her career, six came on the power play and seven were game-winners. Laing was a career plus-player for the Crimson with a plus-30, and never took less than 74 shots in her four full campaigns – she fired the puck 369 times in her 130 total appearances. She is a very fine blend of scoring, leadership, and situational play.
“We’re really happy that one of our draft picks and an outstanding player like Lexie has signed to join our team,” said Pride head coach Paul Mara. “She’s exactly the kind of skilled, smart and determined player we’re building our team around.”
Here is a look at how the Pride’s roster is currently shaping out as of Jun. 3:
Defense: Kaleigh Fratkin, Jenna Rheault, Lexi Bender.
Forward: Tori Sullivan, Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing.
Beginning May 15, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2018-19 roster and their draft picks. Additionally, for those players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, NWHL Free Agency provides the best opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fifth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Minnesota Whitecaps look to defend their Isobel Cup championship.
My colleague Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.