On the final day of free agency, the Connecticut Whale made one of the biggest signings of the summer by landing veteran defenseman Molly Engstrom.
A two-time U.S. Olympian, the blueliner is one of the most decorated female players in United States and women’s hockey history. The 31-year-old Siren, Wisconsin, native won the bronze in the 2006 Olympics in Turin and the silver in Vancouver four years later, where she was named the tournament’s top defenseman. Next to the Olympic medals, she captured a treasure chest of other international medals, highlighted by her four IIHF gold medals and a gold medal from the 2011 4 Nations Cup.
“Molly brings so many great things to our program and our community,” said Whale general manager Harry Rosenholtz. “She embodies the character and the leadership of the players we want to have in this league.
“She’s a role model. She’s the player that everyone on our team will be looking up to. Her humility, her great passion for the game, and her commitment to the sport all contribute to her being one of the most highly respected defensemen in the world.”
Coincidentally enough, Engstrom also played in the inaugural season of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League back in 2007, skating for the Brampton Thunder, eventually scoring the overtime game winner in the CWHL’s first-ever championship game against the Mississauga Chiefs. She played the following season in the Western Women’s Hockey League with the Minnesota Whitecaps before jumping back to the CWHL for the next three seasons, finishing her career with the Boston Blades following the 2012-13 season.
Engstrom will give the Whale a massive presence on their blue line heading into their first season and she’ll command an aura of excellence both on and off the ice. As far as final signings go, the Whale couldn’t have nailed it any better with their move to bring Engstrom aboard.