On May 27 the Boston Pride re-signed a key piece of the team that finished last season 23-0-1, Tori Sullivan, and the following day the Connecticut Whale came to terms with one of their six selections from the 2020 NWHL Draft, Amanda Conway. Both players, forwards, will be looking to impact their respective rosters in the coming season.
Both teams now have 12 players signed for Season 6, one behind the total of the league’s newest franchise – the Toronto Six. While Boston has a host of returning players, Connecticut’s roster – thus far – is a mix of returnees and players who will be making their NWHL debuts.
Sullivan + Boston a Perfect Match
In her rookie season, all Sullivan did was put up 25 points (11g-14a) in 24 games and tied for the league-lead in power-play goals (5). Seven times she put up a game with multiple points, highlighted by a four-point (2g-2a) explosion in a 7-2 rout of the Beauts in Buffalo on Jan. 5. Sullivan really terrorized the Beauts last season with 13 points in seven games against them.
“If the NWHL had an award for Best Dangles, Tori would win unanimously. We are thrilled to have her back next season,” said Boston GM Karilyn Pilch in the press release announcing the signing. “Her love for the game and carefree attitude make her a delight to have in the locker room, and crucial to the culture that brought us so much success.”
Sullivan and teammate Christina Putigna also became social media stars with their creative and hilarious videos that have entertained us throughout the season and during quarantine.
“Last year was a remarkable experience, and I can’t wait to rejoin a culture that continually inspires us to grow as people and players. I can’t thank my team enough for offering me another opportunity to be part of the NWHL and the Boston Pride organization!” said Sullivan.
“It’s such a privilege, and I’m so incredibly grateful to be in an organization led by individuals who want what’s best for the players, fans, the NWHL, and women’s ice hockey as a whole. To Boston Pride and NWHL fans, I hope to provide you with a season full of laughs and entertainment.”
Sullivan joins Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Kaleigh Fratkin, Jillian Dempsey, Lauren Kelly, Jenna Rheault, Mallory Souliotis, and Lovisa Selander as players returning to the Pride and rookies/draft picks Sammy Davis and Tereza Vanisova.
Conway Joins Connecticut
Conway is the second draft pick that the Whale has signed this off-season, joining defender Tori Howran. Connecticut selected her with the first pick in round four (19th overall) and many thought she should have and could have been selected higher after a stellar collegiate career at Norwich University.
“I could not be more proud of Amanda and the opportunity that lies ahead for her with the Connecticut Whale,” said Norwich head coach Sophie Leclerc. “Her passion for the game, dedication to her team, and natural scoring ability are among a long list of incredible characteristics that have been foundations in her journey to earn her this incredible next step in her career. I look forward to watching Amanda grow and share her love for the game with everyone within the organization and community.”
All Conway did in college – finish fourth all-time in DIII scoring with 188 points in 111 games and third all-time with 116 goals. Last season as a senior she led all DIII players with 59 points (32g-27a) in 29 games and as a sophomore, she helped Norwich win an NCAA championship.
“I’ve been dreaming about playing professional hockey since I was little, so being able to achieve this dream is incredible,” Conway said in the press release announcing her signing. “I’m so grateful for all the people who helped me along the way. I can’t wait to get back to the rink and meet my new team in Connecticut!”
Conway and Howran join fellow rookies Abbie Ives and Maggie LaGue on the Whale next season as well as returning players Shannon Doyle, Brooke Wolejko, Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson, Elena Orlando, Hanna Beattie, Taylor Marchin, and Katelynn Russ.
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.