On June 24 the Minnesota Whitecaps brought back an original member of the team when they announced that they re-signed Brooke White-Lancette, who will be playing with the club in her 16th season. Since the Whitecaps inaugural season in 2004 the only time she has missed was when she gave birth to her two sons Blake (now 8-years-old) and Beau (6).
“In our first year in the NWHL, we accomplished what we set out to do and couldn’t have written a better script,” said White-Lancette who will be a part of the defending Isobel Cup champions this upcoming season. “Nothing was better than seeing the smiling faces pressed up against the glass, signs for miles, the sold-out crowds every game, and the enthusiasm of the packed house,” she added.
“Thanks to everyone who helped make our first season in the NWHL a success: the Whitecaps coaches, organization, and fans, along with the NWHL, the Minnesota Wild, TRIA, my teammates, and my family.”
White-Lancette is the sixth member of the team to re-sign for the upcoming season. In college, while at Northeastern University (1998-2003) she had 117 points (45g-72a) in 133 games.
This is what the Whitecaps roster currently looks like:
Goaltenders: Amanda Leveille
Defense: Amanda Boulier, Lisa Martinson
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis, Nicole Schammel, Brooke White-Lancette
On July 15 the Connecticut Whale announced that they had signed forward Grace Klienbach, who made her NWHL debut in Season 3 and played in 13 games but wasn’t in the league last season. “Everyone has the goal of being Isobel Cup Champions, and I am no exception,” said the native of Eustis, Florida who is also a hockey coach and works as a certified athletic trainer in an orthopedic specialty group. “I believe in the organization, and the group we are assembling to be a championship contender this season. I look forward to the journey that leads towards this goal this upcoming season.”
Klienbach attended the Whale’s Free Agency Camp in June and performed well enough to catch the eyes of GM Bray Ketchum which subsequently led to a contract offer. “We are excited to welcome Grace back to the Whale this season,” Ketchum said in the press release announcing the signing.
“She is a tenacious forward and you can always count on her to be there for her teammates and community,” Ketchum continued. “She was impressive at our Free Agent Camp and we look forward to seeing what she has to offer this season.”
Prior to joining the NWHL Klienbach played four seasons at Neumann University and had 51 points (21g-30a) in 100 games. “My goal is to come into this season and do whatever I can to help contribute to the team’s success. I am always working towards rounding out my game, looking to produce a little more offensively, while also being reliable on the defensive side of the puck,” said Klienbach.
“I’m beyond excited to be back on the Whale this season,” she added. “ I had a great experience in my first pro season with the Whale. The team, staff, and fans were all welcoming and such great people to be around every day. I love how involved I can be in the community and you can see how much the fans appreciate it!”
This is what the Whale roster currently looks like:
Defense: Shannon Doyle, Taylor Marchin, Elena Orlando, Jordan Brickner
Forward: Kendra Broad, Jane Morrisette, Grace Klienbach
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 Nathaniel Oliver will keep THW readers up-to-date on Buffalo and Boston’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Connecticut and the Riveters. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.
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.