Four teams added players during May 13-14 that will be making their NWHL debuts when they step on the ice this fall. The Metropolitan Riveters signed their third-round pick from the 2020 Draft, the Connecticut Whale signed their fifth-round pick from the 2018 Draft, the Boston Pride signed their second-round pick from the 2020 Draft and the expansion team in Toronto signed a Canadian that was playing in Sweden’s SDHL the past two seasons.
Goaltender Tera Hofmann, who was drafted 16th overall a few weeks ago, joins the Riveters after a solid, four-year career at Yale University. Defender Maggie LaGue, who was drafted 22nd overall in 2018, joins the Whale after a record-setting career at Robert Morris University – where she was a senior captain. Tereza Vanisova will be taking her scoring prowess from the University of Maine to the Pride. Brooke Boquist returns to her home country after two seasons overseas following her collegiate career at Providence College (2014-18).
Ready to Rep the Rivs
Hofmann leaves Yale with six shutouts, the fifth-highest total for a Bulldog, and three of those came consecutively last season as a senior. Her career GAA of 2.64 is third in school history and her .914 save percentage is ranked fourth all-time there.
“Tera had a very good career at Yale. She had a calming demeanor in the nets, which should translate well at the pro level in the NWHL,” said Yale head coach Mark Bolding in the press release announcing the signing.
“As a kid, I always struggled with the inequality faced by female hockey players. While our male counterparts could look to the NHL for inspiration, it was much harder for me to find representation in professional hockey,” said Hofmann. “I am honoured and grateful that I can help represent professional women’s athletics and be a role model for younger generations of hockey players.”
Hofmann is the first goalie under contract for the upcoming Rivs’ season and if both Sam Walther and Dana DeMartino return they could finally have the depth needed to match the league’s other teams. With the signing, the Riveters now have eight players signed as Hofmann joins forwards Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer, Mallory Rushton, and Cailey Hutchison, and defenders Rebecca Morse, Leila Kilduff, and Saroya Tinker.
Whale Make a Splash with LaGue Signing
Connecticut’s addition of LaGue to their blueline gives them depth, versatility, and leadership. She served as the team captain as a senior and recorded at least 22 points in each of her four seasons (141 games) at RMU. LaGue currently holds the record for most points (92) and assists (79) by a defender.
“Maggie will play a large role for us in all situations. We are thrilled to welcome Maggie for her first season in the NWHL, and we look forward to watching her grow as a pro,” Whale GM Bray Ketchum Peel said in the press release announcing the signing.
“Being a member of a league that is helping pave the way for generations to come is an incredible opportunity and I am so excited to be part of it,” said LaGue. “I am honored to sign with the Connecticut Whale for my first season, and I am very thankful for those who supported me to help make this dream a reality.”
LaGue is the tenth member of the Whale under contract for next season. She joins fellow rookie defender Tori Howran and veteran blueliners Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando, Taylor Marchin, and Hanna Beattie, forwards Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson, and Katelynn Russ, and goaltender Brooke Wolejko.
Bo Knows Hockey
The construction of Toronto’s inaugural roster continues with the addition of Boquist. In 41 games over the past two seasons with MODO Hockey and Leksands IF in the SDHL she finished with 49 points (25g-24a) and last season her 14 goals led Leksands IF.
“Brooke is a major addition for our team in our goal to bring an NWHL championship to Toronto,” said team President Digit Murphy in the press release. “She is a high-skilled and dynamic player who will help lead our offense and excel in every situation. Our fans are going to love her style of play.”
Prior to taking her talents to Sweden Boquist played at Providence College (2014-18) and was the second-leading scorer on the Friars roster in her junior and senior seasons. Over 139 collegiate games, she finished with 91 points (49g-42a).
“I was thrilled to hear from the organization about the opportunity to play in Toronto this season. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the first NWHL team in Canada,” said Boquist, who is from Thunder Bay, Ontario.
She joins fellow forwards Kelly Babstock, Shiann Darkangelo, Sarah-Eve Coutu Godbout, Kristen Barbara, and Taylor Woods, defender Emma Greco, and goaltender Elaine Chuli on Toronto’s current roster.
The Best Get Better in Boston
Boston is adding Vanisova to an already high-powered lineup for the upcoming season. All she did at Maine was average a point a game and finished her career as the all-time points leader in school history. She has also been a member of the Czech Republic’s National Team since she was 13-years-old.
She hit the ice running as a freshman, leading her team in scoring and never looked back. Over her 129 games with the Black Bears, Vanisova put up 129 points (63g-69a). “Tereza is one of the best athletes I have ever seen. She has the ability to control the play, she’s always thinking offense and is a fierce competitor who is incredibly strong and loves the challenge of playing against the best in the biggest games,” said her collegiate coach Richard Reichenbach.
“I believe the Pride will win the league next season,” said the confident Vanisova in the press release announcing the signing. “I’m looking forward to a fun and exciting first NWHL season, and I’m appreciative of this opportunity to continue to progress as a hockey player and be part of this first-class organization and fantastic team.”
The Pride now has a total of ten players signed for next season, matching the Whale for the most so far. Vanisova joins fellow rookie/2020 draft pick Sammy Davis on Boston’s roster for the upcoming season. They join veteran forwards Christina Putigna, McKenna Brand, Jillian Dempsey, Lexie Laing, and defenders Kaleigh Fratkin, Lauren Kelly, Jenna Rheault, and Mallory Souliotis.
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.