NWHL NEWS: CONNECTICUT WHALE ANNOUNCES PRACTICE PLAYERS FOR 2016-17 SEASON
Signings Include Inaugural Season Riveters Players Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando
BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL
Northford, CT — The Connecticut Whale has signed their practice players for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced Wednesday. Anya Battaglino (F/D), Laura Brennan (G), Celeste Brown (F), Shannon Doyle (D), Elena Orlando (D), and Jackie Raines (F) have agreed to practice player contracts.
“The Whale is very confident in the abilities of this group of players and firmly believe they will have no problems stepping into the lineup when called upon,” said Giovanelli. “As witnessed last season, the practice players play a huge role in the success of an NWHL team, and we expect this group to make huge contributions in our quest for the Isobel Cup.”
Returning to the Whale is inaugural season defenseman Shannon Doyle, who scored 5 points (2g, 3a) in 18 games. Anya Battaglino is also returning to Connecticut as a practice player after playing in 8 games with the team last season.
“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue to chase my dream,” said Battaglino. “Being a player that works hard day in and day out to see my team and the league improve is so important to me. I look forward to getting back on the ice and fighting to make my teammates better and to get called into a game.”
Joining the Whale are Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando, who both played for the New York Riveters in 2015-16. Brown scored 4 assists in 18 games with New York. Orlando collected 1 assist in 17 games in the inaugural season.
New to Connecticut is forward Jackie Raines, who finished her collegiate career at Yale in 2015. In 101 games with the Bulldogs, Raines scored 66 points (37g, 29a), averaging over a point per game.
Goaltender Laura Brennan played in 32 games with Minnesota State between 2003-06 before moving to Quinnipiac for the 2006-07 season. Over her career, she collected a .886 SV%, 3.48 GAA, and a 10-39-7 record. Brennan attended Buffalo Free Agent Camp this summer.
The restricted free agency period began on April 1 and lasted until April 30. Free agency began May 1 and ended July 31. The 2016 NWHL Draft was on June 18.
About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015, with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The Boston Pride became the first team in NWHL history to raise the Isobel Cup on March 12, 2016.