Over the past week in the NWHL we saw a former Riveter sign with the Whale, a former Beaut sign with the Riveters, a former Whale sign with the Riveters, and a former Riveter sign with the Six. Did you follow all of that? There were a total of five signings over the past seven days with four players finding their new hockey homes and one player from the 2021 Draft signing her first pro contract.
Hofmann Back in Her Hometown
On August 11 the Toronto Six announced the signing of goaltender Tera Hofmann who played last season as a rookie with the Metropolitan Riveters. Hofmann was selected 16th overall (Round 3) in the 2020 NWHL Draft and played/started one game with the Rivs where she made 33 saves in a 4-3 win over Connecticut. We’re still a bit confused as to why the Riveters gave up on her after just one pro start.
“Toronto is my hometown and that’s where hockey all started for me, so I have tons of great memories as a child growing up, going to outdoor rinks with my parents, playing shinny with my sister. Just being able to come home and be a part of that community again, especially in a season where we’re gonna have fans, that’s going to be really special,” Hofmann said in the press release announcing her signing.
She is the second Riveters draft pick from their 2020 draft class (Saroya Tinker) to sign with the Six this off-season. Hofmann will compete with Samantha Ridgewell and Elaine Chuli for starts between the pipes in the Six’s second season, and the first one where they get to play home games.
“I think personally what I’m most excited for is being able to play in front of my parents and my grandmother,” added the Toronto-native who skated at Connecticut’s and the Riveters’ Free Agent Camps in June. “They’re so excited I’m coming home, and I get to have those special moments with them every weekend hopefully.”
Hofmann is the 13th player signed by the Six for the upcoming season. She joins forwards Shiann Darkangelo, Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Emma Woods, Maegan Beres, Amy Curlew, and Leah Marino, defenders Emma Greco, Taylor Woods, Lindsay Eastwood, and Saroya Tinker, and goaltenders Elaine Chuli and Samantha Ridgewell.
Rivs Add Čurmová, Ade to Defense Corps
On August 11 the Riveters announced the signing of defender Lenka Čurmová, a 2020 NWHL All-Star who played the past two seasons with the Buffalo Beauts. Over 29 regular-season games with the Beauts, she has recorded 12 points (3g-9a) and on Oct. 8, 2019, Čurmová became the first Slovakian player to record a point in the NWHL.
On August 12 the Riveters announced the signing of former Connecticut Whale defender Rachael Ade. She’s played parts of three NWHL seasons with the Whale (32 regular-season games, 2 playoff games), recording five points (2g-3a), and also skated with the PWHPA briefly. Ade had played some games at forward for the Whale so she will add the versatility that the Rivs lost with the departure of Morse.
The Riveters now have 16 players signed for the upcoming season. Čurmová and Ade join forwards Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer, Mallory Rushton, Theresa Knutson, Haley Frade, Nora MacLaine, Emily Janiga, Rebecca Russo, and Brooke Avery, defenders Leila Kilduff, Allie Olnowich, and Kristen Barbara, and goaltenders Sonjia Shelly and Brooke Wolejko.
Whale Sign Morse, Bates
On August 11 the Connecticut Whale announced the signing of defender Rebecca Morse, who played the past five seasons with the Riveters. A 2018 Isobel Cup champion, Morse played in 58 regular-season games and three playoff games with her hometown team, putting up 15 points (7g-8a) and earned a selection to the 2020 NWHL All-Star Game. Her addition, along with Allie Munroe, will help to offset the loss of longtime defenders Shannon Doyle and Elena Orlando to retirements.
On August 12 the Whale announced that they have signed their fourth-round pick (20th overall) defender Hannah Bates from St. Cloud State. She blocked 75 shots over 120 NCAA games (17 points, 2 goals) and was an alternate captain as a senior. Bates is the third member from Connecticut’s 2021 draft class (Taylor Girard, Emma Polaski) to sign for the upcoming season.
“I’m excited to suit up for the Whale and be a part of an Isobel Cup contending team in Season 7! I believe in the organization, and I feel that they believe in me. I look forward to getting on the ice with my teammates, meeting Whale fans, and continuing to grow as a player,” said Morse, who was an alternate captain the past two seasons, in the press release announcing her signing.
“We are incredibly excited for Moose to be joining the Whale for Season 7,” said Head Coach Colton Orr. “Her winning experience and strong character fit our culture and the direction our organization is going. She’s a solid skating defender who can shut down other team’s top lines, and she can also contribute offensively; she helps strengthen our defense corps as a whole.”
Morse and Bates are the 15th and 16th players under contract with the Whale for the upcoming season. They join forwards Alyssa Wohlfeiler, Kennedy Marchment, Emma Vlasic, Cailey Hutchison, Emma Polaski, Taylor Girard, Janine Weber, Catherine Crawley, and Kaycie Anderson, defenders Allie Munroe, Hanna Beattie, and Tori Howran, and goaltenders Abbie Ives and Mariah Fujimagari.
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.