Beginning June 1, NWHL teams can start signing players for the 2018-19 season. For players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, the free agency period provides them an opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fourth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Metropolitan Riveters defend their Isobel Cup championship, and with the addition of a fifth team – the Minnesota Whitecaps – as well as the inclusion of players who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics, this very well could be the most competitive season yet.
My colleague Nathaniel Oliver will keep THW readers up-to-date on Boston and Buffalo’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Connecticut and the Riveters. Together we will collaborate to keep readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.
— Sydney Rossman (@syd_rossman) August 20, 2018
On August 20 the Whitecaps signed goaltender Sydney Rossman, who along with Amanda Leveille will give the NWHL’s newest team one of the most formidable duos in net this season. With so many back-to-back games on their schedule, the netminders will likely share playing time and push each other to be better every weekend. Last season, as a rookie, Rossman started in all 17 games (16 regular season, 1 playoff) for Connecticut and often was a hard-luck loser in a disappointing season for the Whale.
“It means so much to be able to move home and play in front of my family and friends as a member of the Minnesota Whitecaps in their first NWHL season,” Rossman, a native of Minnetonka, said in a press release announcing her signing. “I am so humbled to be a part of the Whitecaps and the program that they’ve built for many years. I’m especially excited to see all of the young players from Minnesota and help establish a team for them to play on in the future.”
On August 17 Minnesota added another familiar face to their NWHL roster when they signed Brooke White-Lancette, who played with the then-independent Whitecaps since 2004, taking only two brief breaks from the team to give birth to her two sons. Before joining the team she played college hockey at Northeastern University from 1998-2003.
“I’m excited to join my teammates in this extraordinary accomplishment and honor to represent the Minnesota Whitecaps in our inaugural season with the NWHL,” White-Lancette said in a press release announcing her signing.
— Minnesota Whitecaps (@WhitecapsHockey) August 17, 2018
“Playing for the Whitecaps for the past 14 years has truly been a blessing. I’m excited to continue this journey by being a positive role model for young girls and women who aspire to play hockey at all levels, which now includes playing professionally.”
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.