Forward Jordan Smelker became the first player to put pen to paper with the Boston Pride. She has signed a contract for the 2016-17 season worth $14,000, the team announced Wednesday.
Smelker was an often under-appreciated piece of the Pride attack as they dominated the regular season and won the 2015 Isobel Cup championship.
“Jordan is a consistent offensive force on the ice,” said General Manager Hayley Moore. “Her strength and speed fit well into our style of play, and her work ethic makes her very well-respected by her teammates. We are happy to welcome Jordan back to the pack!”
Smelker put up nine goals and 19 points through 17 games for the Pride in the league’s inaugural season. She also contributed two assists as the Pride swept through the postseason in four games. Her production in the season’s second half took a bit of a boost from playing with the league’s top two scorers, Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker.
Smelker was named a NWHL player of the week once this season and was named to the NWHL All-Star Game as a part of Team Knight.
“I couldn’t be happier to sign on for another year with the Pride,” she said. “It’s a special team to be a part of and I can’t wait for hockey season to start up again.”
Her $14,000 salary represents a $2,000 pay cut, despite the fact that the average salary will increase this season with a roster-size reduction.
— NWHL (@NWHL) April 20, 2016
That may be in part because the Pride have a big cast of the league’s top players and they’ll be trying to make space for any 2015 draft picks that they’re able to sign. Those picks include 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award winner Kendall Coyne, Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer (who has registered for the CWHL draft), Boston College’s Lexi Bender, Harvard forward Miye D’Oench and Clarkson’s Shannon MacAulay.
All four NWHL clubs have now re-signed at least one player during the restricted free agency period that extends throughout the month of April. Free agency will then begin on May 1, lasting until July 31.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.