NWHL Dominating the Hockey World

There was a lot of NWHL news today:

NWHL:

The NWHL announced that Interim Commissioner Tyler “Ty” Tumminia is officially the Commissioner of the NWHL, dropping the Interim title.

Congratulations Ty! We look forward to seeing how the league grows and further gains success.

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Buffalo:

The Beauts announced today that they have signed another forward for Season 7.

The winger, who hails from Tampere, Finland, brings a lot of playing experience with her. She has spent 10 years in the Naisten Liiga, where she’s played 249 games, in those games she’s tallied 116 goals and added another 107 assists for a total of 223 points. She’s also played 1 season in the SDHL, where she played 36 games, scoring 5 goals. She’s also got some international experience, having played for Team Finland.

You can check out the full press release here:

BEAUTS ADD HIGH-FLYING FINN JENNA SUOKKO

Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Beauts announced today a major signing for the team’s offense. Finnish scoring ace Jenna Suokko has signed a contract to join the team. The 26-year-old winger scored 22 goals in only 28 games for Ilves in Finland’s Naisten Liiga during the 2020-21 season. After 11 seasons played between her native Finland and nearby Sweden, Suokko will begin her professional career in North America. 

“I decided to sign with Beauts after getting familiar with their strong will to work hard for women’s professional hockey,” said Suokko. “After seeing how much the organization is working for their players, I knew I’d love to become a Beaut.” 

Suokko has scored 116 goals, 107 assists and 223 points in 249 Naisten Liiga games – an average of 0.90 points per game. Seven of her 10 seasons in the league saw her play for Ilves, including each of the past four seasons. Her 22 goals in 28 games tied her for the second-most goals scored in the Naisten Liiga in 2020-21. Her 36 points (22 G, 14 A) placed her seventh overall in the league. Since 2017-18, Suokko has tallied 60 goals in 111 games – a pace of better than a goal every two games. 

“We really wanted to add another top-6 forward heading into Season 7 and we have done so with Jenna,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “She came strongly recommended to us by a former member of the Finnish Women’s National Team, and we really liked her as soon as we met her. You have to love what Jenna can do on the ice. She is a bonafide sniper and she further accentuates that skill by having a great deal of speed. Jenna is very dangerous and you always have to be aware of her at all times.”

In addition to playing hockey in her homeland, Suokko played the 2016-17 season with Leksands IF in the SDHL. Internationally, she has represented Finland at three different Women’s U18 World Championships. Suokko went 3-4-7 for scoring through 16 tournament games. She helped lead the Finns to the bronze medal in 2011. 

The crafty forward is looking to do some damage on the scoresheet when she arrives in Buffalo.

“I’m a speedy all-around winger with good offensive ability,” said Suokko. “I hope my strong work ethic both on and off the ice will best help the team.”

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Toronto:

The Toronto Six announced today that they have re-signed one of their forwards for Season 7.

Curlew, during her rookie season, played 6 games for the Six. In those 6 games, she nabbed 4 assists on the year. She also boasts a plus 3 rating and a .500 record on the faceoff dot. She will look to build on these numbers with a full season upcoming.

You can check out the full press release here:

A MEMBER OF THE ‘KID’ LINE, TORONTO SIX SIGN FORWARD AMY CURLEW

by Justin Levine

Toronto, ON- The Toronto Six added their twelfth player on Wednesday afternoon, signing Amy Curlew, who returns for her second NWHL season.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play a full season in the six with a great group of girls,” the forward said. “Last year was just a glimpse of our potential as a growing organization. Super excited to get back with the girlies.”

The eighth overall pick in the 2020 NWHL Draft is a native of Goose Bay, Newfoundland and returns to home soil to complete unfinished business. The left-handed shooter was selected by the Six after playing collegiately at Cornell University.

Making her debut during Lake Placid competition, the now 23-year-old skated in six games during the league’s shortened campaign, where she tied for fourth in team scoring with four assists. 

She earned her first point as a pro with the only assist on a goal from MVP Mikyla Grant-Mentis in a 6-5 shootout loss to Minnesota on January 24. Tacking on three more at the historic Herb Brooks Arena, this helped guide Toronto to a regular season title. Curlew skated on the team’s second line, affectionately tagged with Grant-Mentis and Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout.

“Amy is an energy force to the Toronto Six,” said Digit Murphy, President of the Toronto Six. “Her smiling constantly and positive attitude is a force that feeds into and drives the Toronto Six methodology. Her selfless determination and of being and caring of her teammates really adds value to our roster in a meaningful way.”

Before starting her career with the Six, the Communication and Media Studies graduate spent four seasons competing with the Big Red in the Division I hockey program from 2016-20. Taking the ice in Ithaca, New York, Curlew led the class of 2020, as she ranked second on the team with four power play goals, while also adding to that two game-winning goals.

Putting up career-highs in her Senior year, the playmaker amassed nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 32 games, along with a plus-30 rating for a career plus-42 marking. Across 122 contests, the former second-round puck compiled 60 points, tallying 24 goals, while adding 36 assists.

Prior to her NCAA commitment, Curlew played two seasons of junior hockey with the Oakville Hornets in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. While advancing to the playoffs in each season, Amy, in 2014-15, played with Boston Pride top scorer Christina Putigna and T6 draft pick Olivia Atkinson.

In 41 games played, the five-foot-three forward recorded 36 points on 20 goals and 16 assists. Following a seven-game playoff run to conclude her junior career, Curlew made her first appearance on the national stage, serving as assistant captain on Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

As the countdown begins for the start of Season 7, Curlew said she can’t wait for the chance to play in Toronto and get back on the ice with the girls in November.

“I am so appreciative for all the support we’ve received,” she said. “The last year has presented new and challenging obstacles for myself, the organization and the world. Those who backed us up this past year helped aid us through challenging times.“

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Boston:

Boston had the biggest announcement of the day, announcing their entire roster for Season 7!

Lot’s of familiar faces and a few new ones, here’s how it breaks down:

Forwards

#14 Jillian Dempsey – An NWHL original member, she’s played 98 career games, scoring 49 goals and added another 55 assists for a total of 104 points. The first NWHL player to break the 100 point barrier.
#17 McKenna Brand – This will be her fourth year in the league, and her fourth year with Boston. In 47 career games, she’s scored 28 goals and added another 32 assists for 60 points.
#21 Christina Putigna – Her third year in the league and her third year with the Pride, she’s played 31 career games. In those 31 games, she’s tallied 10 goals and added another 27 assists for 37 career points.
#29 Kayla Friesen – The second overall pick in the 2020 NWHL draft, she played 3 games with the Connecticut Whale last season, scoring 1 goal.
#42 Meghara McManus – It will be her second year in the league, during her rookie campaign, she played 7 games, scoring twice and adding another 3 assists for 5 points. She also boasts a plus 2 rating.
#18 Taylor Wenczkowski – It will also be Taylor’s second year in the league. During her rookie season, she also played 7 games and found the back of the net once.
#9 Tori Sullivan – Her third year in the league and her third year with Boston, she’s played 31 career games. In those games she’s scored 11 goals and added another 16 assists for 27 points.
#23 Katelynn Russ – She’s played 2 seasons with the Connecticut Whale, she’s played 6 career games, scoring twice. In the playoffs for the Whale, she’s scored 2 goals and added 1 assist for 3 points.
#19 Sammy Davis – The rookie from Boston University last season, she impressed during her rookie year. In 7 games, she scored 4 goals and added an assist for 5 points on the year.

Defenders

Abby Cook – The rookie to the NWHL, she’s played 4 years of college hockey at Boston University, playing 147 career games. In those games, she’s scored 24 goals and added 75 assists for 99 points. She spent last season in the SDHL, playing 36 games, tallying a goal and adding 4 assists for 5 points.
#13 Kaleigh Fratkin – Another NWHL original player, she’s previously played for the Connecticut Whale and the Metropolitan Riveters, now heads into her 5th year with the Boston Pride. In 94 career games, she’s found the back of the net 11 times and has added 58 assists for 69 points.
#47 Mal Souliotis – Coming into her 5th season with the Pride, in 45 career games, she’s scored 10 times and added 15 assists for 25 points. She also boasts a career plus 43 rating.
#12 Jenna Rheault – Her third year in the league and with the Pride, she’s played 27 career games, scoring once and adding another 6 assists for 7 points. She also has a career rating of plus 14.
#20 Paige Capistran – She will be entering her second year in the league, she played 7 games during her rookie season, tallying an assist, and registering 10 blocked shots.
#4 Lauren Kelly – Coming into her 4th year in the league, and her 4th year with the Pride. She’s played 45 career games, scoring 5 times and added another 12 assists for 17 points. She also boasts a plus 20 rating.

Goalies

Katie Burt – A former PWHPA member, she’s played for the Boston Pride once, during the 2018-2019 season. During that campaign, she posted an 11-5-0 record, with a 2.26 GAA and a .920 Save Percentage.
#33 Victoria Hanson – Her third year with the Pride, she has dressed for 31 games, boasting a 7-1-0 record. She also has a career 2.04 GAA and a .919 Save Percentage with 1 shutout.
#35 Lovisa Selander – Also her third year in the league, all with Boston, she has dressed for 30 games. She posted an impressive 19-4-0 record. She also has a career GAA of 1.66 and a .942 Save Percentage and 3 shutouts.

TXHT will continue to provide NWHL coverage as more signings and news are announced.

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