Two of the six NWHL teams made key re-signings over the past two days. Both players played prominent roles for their teams as rookies last season and will be counted upon for that same type of production during the league’s upcoming season.
The Buffalo Beauts announced on July 8 that they have re-signed forward Iveta Klimášová. She has been a member of the Slovakian National Team since 2014 and along with her fellow countrywoman Lenka Čurmová, she became one of the first two Slovakian players to suit up in the NWHL. The following day the Boston Pride announced that goaltender Victoria Hanson would be returning as Lovisa Selander’s partner in the crease.
From Slovakia with Love
Prior to joining the Beauts Klimášová played 60 games in the EWHL for SKP Bratislava, putting up 44 points (28g-14a). In her first season in the NWHL, she played in all 24 games and finished third on the team with 18 points, including tying for the team lead in assists with 15; her 15 assists is a single-season franchise-record for forwards.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out onto the ice with the Buffalo Beauts,” Klimášová said. “I love this city, and I believe that the Beauts have the best fans! Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.”
She began her Beauts career with 14 points in her first 13 games, and Klimášová’s 18 points are the second-highest point total by a European-born player in NWHL history, second only to Janine Weber’s 22 points with the Metropolitan Riveters (2016-17).
“Iveta is a dynamic player. She was a major point producer for us and scored a number of goals on bullets that the goalies are still looking for. It’s awesome to have her back,” said Beauts head coach Pete Perram in the press release announcing the signing.
With the re-signing of Klimášová, the Beauts now have 14 players signed for next season. She joins defenders Čurmová, Alyson Matteau, Marie-Jo Pelletier, Lisa Chesson, Whitney Dove, Dominique Kremer, Meg Delay, forwards Taylor Accursi, Cassidy MacPherson, Autumn MacDougall, Neve Van Pelt and goaltenders Carly Jackson and Caty Flagg.
Hanson Back in Boston for Round 2
All Hanson did in her first season as a pro in the NWHL was finish with a 6-0-0 record and one shutout, providing the perfect tandem partner for Selander as they guided the Pride to an astounding 23-1-0 record. Talk about a lethal 1-2 punch to their opponents!
“The Boston Pride have built such a special program and fan base, and I am thrilled to be a part of it,” said Hanson in the press release announcing the signing. “It’s been exciting to watch the NWHL and the Pride continue to make significant strides during the offseason, and I can’t wait to get back on the ice with all of the new talented players around the league – especially all of the impressive young players we have coming to Boston.”
Hanson finished the season with a 1.97 GAA and a .919 save percentage. She made 19 saves in her shutout against the Connecticut Whale (Nov. 23, 2019). Between her collegiate career at Boston University and playing for the Pride she appeared in 20 games in the German Frauen-Bundesliga.
“Bringing Vic back for another season was a top priority for our staff as we built our 2020-21 roster,” said GM Karilyn Pilch. “She is a fierce competitor and an excellent technical goalie. Vic will battle to make every save for her teammates and is a true asset to our roster.”
With the signing of Hanson, the Pride now have a total of 17 players signed for next season. She joins forwards Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Sammy Davis, Jillian Dempsey, Tereza Vanisova, Carlee Turner, Mary Parker, Meghara McManus, Taylor Wenczkowski, and Tori Sullivan, defenders Kaleigh Fratkin, Lauren Kelly, Mallory Souliotis, and Jenna Rheault, and goaltender Lovisa Selander.
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.