New York, NY –The NWHL (National Women’s Hockey League) announced the signing of Russian national team forward, Yekaterina Smolentseva to the Connecticut Whale. Smolentseva is the second member of the Russian national team to sign with the NWHL.
Yekaterina Smolentseva grew up in Sverdlovsk, Soviet Union and has played for the Russian national team for over a decade, (1997-2014). While playing for Team Russia, she appeared in four Winter Olympic Games, including 2002 Salt Lake City, 2006 Torino, 2010 Vancouver, and 2014 Sochi, where she served as the team’s captain.
Over the course of her career with the Russian national team, Smolentseva recorded a total of 35 points (19g, 16a) in eight appearances at the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) Women’s World Championships and lead her team in points at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 tournaments. The Russian hockey star returned to the Women’s World Championships in 2011, and in 2013 won a bronze medal at Women’s Worlds in Ottawa.
This was the Smolentseva’s and Russian’s second-ever bronze medal, following their third-place finish in 2001. While playing in Russia, the forward played for the HC Tornado for over six years, winning three Russian Women’s Championships and four IIHF European Women’s Champions Cup (EWCC) tournaments.
During the EWCC, Smolentseva logged 18 points (12g, 6a) in 12 games.
“I decided to play for the Connecticut Whale because I’m very interested in playing in American hockey, and I would like to grow as hockey player,” Smolentseva said. “My greatest strength as a player is I’m team player.”