The NWHL’s New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale have traded the rights to their 2015 second draft picks Haley Skarupa and Michelle Picard.
Skarupa was picked fifth overall by the Riveters. Last season she put up 79 points (35-44-79) in 41 games for Boston College during her senior season.
Skarupa has started spending time with the U.S. National Team over the last two years as well, where she has played in the last two World Championships. She contributed three assists to this year’s gold medal run.
Picard, drafted sixth overall by the Whale, finished her senior season with Harvard this year, scoring two goals and 12 points as the team’s captain. Her 12 points tied junior Briana Mastel for the team lead among defensemen. She has spent the last five years at Harvard after red shirting in the 2013-14 season to play for the National Team at the Sochi Olympics.
Picard was also on the U.S. National Team for the World Championships the last two years.
Both players may sign with their new team immediately. The restricted free agency period lasts until April 30, under which any player may sign with the team that currently holds their rights. Starting on May 1, all unsigned players become unrestricted free agents and may sign with any team. However, there are cap penalties for signing another team’s draft pick.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.