The NWHL’s two best teams from Season 5 won’t have the chance to play on the ice for the Isobel Cup because the Cup Final was canceled last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but off the ice the are rebuilding their teams for Season 6 and so far they look very similar to last season’s editions.
On May 15 the Minnesota Whitecaps announced that three-time All-Star defender Amanda Boulier had re-signed for the upcoming season, her fourth in the league and third with the Whitecaps.
On May 20 the Boston Pride announced that they were bringing back goaltender Lovisa Selander for her second season as a pro after a stellar, award-filled, record-breaking season as a rookie.
Bou Is Back
It may be easy to overlook Boulier because of all of the talented, high-flying forwards the Whitecaps boast and the legend that they have had in goal. But she is the silent assassin who quietly has amassed 48 points (15g-33a) in her 50 career NWHL games; she also has two points in four playoff games. This past season she led all defenders in points (27) for the second consecutive season, and her 21 assists were tied for third in the entire league.
“Amanda has been one of the centerpieces of the Whitecaps the past two years,” said Whitecaps GM Jack Brodt. “Her hard shot and excellent skating ability put her in a class of her own. We are excited to have her back for our third NWHL season.”
Boulier has been a finalist the past two seasons for Defender of the Year, was named one of the Fans’ Three Stars of the Season in 2019, and won the Isobel Cup with Minnesota that same season. While playing for the Whitecaps she is also the enrollment director and head girls hockey coach at Marshall School in Duluth.
“I have experienced firsthand the strides the NWHL has made over the past three seasons that I’ve been in the league and it has me itching to return,” said Boulier in the press release announcing the signing. “I can’t wait for Season 6 with the Original 6! I’m ecstatic to be back with the Whitecaps and play in front of our loyal fans in the State of Hockey.”
Boulier joins forwards Allie Thunstrom and Jonna Curtis as the players currently signed by Minnesota for next season.
Selander returns to the Pride after winning Goaltender of the Year and the All-Star Game MVP during her rookie season that probably feels like she has some unfinished business after being unable to play for a championship. She led the league in wins (17), GAA (1.71), save percentage (.941), and was second in shutouts (2). Her 17 wins rank fourth all-time in the NWHL.
“I appreciate everyone who continues to support my life in hockey, including my family and friends, as well as the fans and everyone in the Boston Pride organization,” Selander said in the press release announcing her re-signing. “Being a member of the Pride has enabled me to improve every aspect of my game.”
During her collegiate career at RPI she became, and still is, the all-time saves leader in NCAA Division I history and this past December she was selected for Sweden’s roster at the Four Nations Tournament. Boston drafted the goaltender 20th overall at the 2018 NWHL Draft. When she’s not stopping pucks Selander is a Process Development Engineer for Neurotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“I could not be more excited to join the Boston Pride for another season,” added Selander. “I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to play in Boston in front of our amazing fans.”
Selander joins defenders Kaleigh Fratkin, Jenna Rheault, Lauren Kelly, and Mallory Souliotis and forwards Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Jillian Dempsey, Sammy Davis, and Tereza Vanisova as players signed by the Pride for next season.
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.