The Boston Pride made a signing on Aug. 16, 2019 that bolsters both their blue line and their forward troops. Word was released that “The Pack” had added defender-forward Whitney Renn to their 2019-20 roster.
The 23-year-old is a right-handed shooter from Troy, Michigan, but has made a name for herself more eastern than her hometown. Renn played four seasons of NCAA hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York State, and then went on to play a season in Austria after graduating.
Now she is bringing her game to Beantown.
“I am inspired by the players of the Pride who have put a great emphasis on promoting women’s hockey through their great play in the NWHL and their work with youth at skills clinics, off-ice programs and Q&A sessions,” said Renn in the press release. “I want to be part of all of that, too. The NWHL and the Pride provides a platform for me to inspire a younger generation of players – something I will not take for granted. I am humbled to be signing with a team that is committed to advancing women’s hockey across all levels.”
NCAA Career With the Engineers
In Renn’s first three seasons of NCAA play for the RPI Engineers, she was listed as a forward. It was only during her senior season of 2017-18 that the Engineers listed her officially as a defender.
Interestingly enough, the best offensive numbers of Renn’s collegiate career came in that final season. Playing in 32 games as a senior, she set career highs for goals (5), points (12) and even penalty minutes (20). Renn finished second on the team among defenders for shots on goal with 57.
Renn’s point production remained consistent throughout her time at RPI. She actually set her career high for assists (8) during her freshman season. After a 9-point season as a first-year player, she followed that up with seasons of four, nine and then the 12. Renn’s NCAA career totaled out to be 10 goals, 24 assists and 34 points in a very full 131 games.
A Season in Salzburg
Having wrapped up her time at RPI, Renn went to Europe where she suited up for the DEC Salzburg Eagles in the Elite Women’s Hockey League (EWHL) – a league consisting of several teams from primarily Central Europe. She played 20 games for Salzburg between regular season and playoffs, and potted three goals and 12 assists.
Now Renn is back Stateside, and eager to hone her skills further as a member of the Pride.
She went on to say in the release, “This season I will continue to work on each phase of my game, learn from my teammates, grow as a player, and get better in order to help the team however I can. I am looking forward to being surrounded by great players and a coaching staff who are backed by a league whose mission I support.”
The Pride’s numbers are starting to look more and more intriguing. They already have six natural defenders under contract. The team also has eight forwards thus far too. If Renn is kept up front, it would probably be more so as a depth forward to use on a third or fourth line. Pride head coach Paul Mara might be better off keeping her on defense, or using her as a swing-player between the two positions.
Personally, this writer would like to see Renn used as a blueliner, but we will have to see what happens once the season gets underway. Either way, she is reunited with former RPI teammate Marisa Raspa.
Here is how the Pride’s roster currently looks as of Aug. 16:
Goaltender: Victoria Hanson.
Defense: Kaleigh Fratkin, Jenna Rheault, Lexi Bender, Mallory Souliotis, Lauren Kelly, Briana Mastel, Whitney Renn (defender-forward).
Forward: Tori Sullivan, Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, Mary Parker, Jillian Dempsey, McKenna Brand, Alyssa Wohlfeiler, Marisa Raspa.
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.