Stamford, Conn. — Kelly Babstock has become the first player to sign a contract for the 2016-2017 National Women’s Hockey League season, Connecticut Whale General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced Monday. Babstock and the Whale agreed to terms on a one-year, $21,000 contract.
“Kelly Babstock is a power forward and was a huge part of our offense this past season,” said Giovanelli. “Her hard work and tenacity on the forecheck set up a lot of scoring opportunities for us. We are very fortunate to have her back in a Whale jersey, as she will continue to be someone we look to to bring a spark to our offense.”
Babstock appeared in all 18 regular season games for the Whale. Her 22 points (9g, 13a) tied her for first on the team with forward Kelli Stack. Babstock also lead the team in playoff scoring with 4 goals in 3 games against the Buffalo Beauts in the semifinal round.
“I am very excited to be back with the Whale next season,” said Babstock. “Last year was a lot of fun and some really good hockey, but I am ready to be a part of taking this league to the next level. I think the competition level is only going to increase.”
The Connecticut Whale finished their inaugural season in second place with a 13-5-0 record.
“I want to bring my best game every game, and bring my high energy to push us to the next level,” said Babstock. “I think our first year gave us a strong foundation and personally, getting back into the game after a year off has made me ready to really push my limits and contribute to making this year better than the year before.”
Restricted free agency began April 1 and lasts until April 30. Free agency begins May 1 and lasts until July 31. The 2016 Draft is 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.