Why mess with a great factor? Merely put, you don’t. The Boston Satisfaction are doing a really tremendous job of bringing their defenders from 2018-19 again into the fold for the season forward.
Phrase was launched on the morning of Jun. 24 that “The Pack” had re-signed blueliner Lauren Kelly. The signing itself is Boston’s 11th of the 2019 offseason, and their fourth defender getting back from final season.
“The Satisfaction are actually glad to have Lauren Kelly again,” mentioned Boston head coach Paul Mara within the press launch for the signing. “She’s very strong on D and has an enormous shot. Along with her work habits, she’s going to take one other huge step ahead in her professional profession.”
Kelly is one in all six Satisfaction defenders to have performed in not less than 14 common season video games in 2018-19. She and the remainder of the staff’s protection corps restricted their NWHL opposition to 36 objectives towards – third finest among the many 5 groups – whereas additionally serving to Boston to generate a league-leading 60 objectives for.
Kelly Is Reliable in Her Personal Finish
Kelly was one in all a bunch of newcomers that joined the NWHL final season. Reliable in her personal finish, she didn’t obtain the notoriety that a number of the flashier first-year gamers garnered.
Make no mistake although – in case you are not noticing Lauren Kelly on the ice, it’s as a result of she is doing her job. And it is a vital job at that.
Kelly’s plus-5 for plus/minus was the second-best for all Satisfaction defenders behind Mallory Souliotis’ plus-9. The truth is, of the eight defenders to look in Boston’s lineup final season, she was one in all 5 to finish on the optimistic facet of that scale.
Offensively talking, Kelly completed the marketing campaign scoring a objective and two assists in 15 video games. Whereas these aren’t eye-popping numbers, they don’t imply that she didn’t possess a behavior for capturing the puck. Kelly fired on internet 22 occasions. The truth is, her finest efficiency on the assault got here throughout the Satisfaction’s Oct. 13, 2018 5-1 win over the Metropolitan Riveters. Kelly had 5 photographs on objective and earned each of her assists throughout the recreation.
Boston Satisfaction defender Lauren Kelly earned two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Metropolitan Riveters on Oct. 13, 2018. (Picture Credit score: Michelle Jay)
Simply because she didn’t do a ton of scoring in her first skilled season doesn’t imply that 2019-20 is not going to be a breakout season for Kelly. Take into account that she scored 25 objectives and 39 assists in 140 video games as a Northeastern Huskies defender. Her most interesting season was her senior yr in 2017-18 when she generated profession highs in objectives (12) and factors (21) in simply 33 contests.
Satisfaction followers can count on that Kelly’s numbers will go up within the season forward.
“I’m wanting ahead to constructing on what I discovered as a participant and as a teammate final yr and making use of it to this season,” Kelly mentioned about her re-signing. “I’m tremendous excited concerning the gamers who’ve already signed with the staff. I do know it’s going to be an amazing group of ladies working collectively to carry the Isobel Cup again to Boston.”
She will say that once more.
The Satisfaction’s Items Are Coming Collectively
On the time of the Kelly announcement, the Boston Satisfaction have made essentially the most quantity of signings of the 5 NWHL groups. Eight of their 11 signings are returnees, whereas three rookies have been sprinkled inside.
One of many rookies on the staff is former College of New Hampshire defender Jenna Rheault. With a season beneath her belt, Kelly is a veteran able to exhibiting a participant like Rheault the NWHL ropes.
“Final yr I grew as an individual and a participant,” Kelly went on to say. “I hope to take the data I gained from the teaching employees and enhance increasingly.”
That’s precisely what a coach like Mara would wish to hear. A former blueliner himself, Mara performed 14 seasons of professional hockey. Imparting tutelage from one defender to a different is as a lot part of the sport as taping up a stick. Kelly is one more asset within the Satisfaction’s wheelhouse in that regard. “The Pack” feeds off of one another, and it exhibits each time something good occurs on the ice.
Boston Satisfaction defender Lauren Kelly fires a shot on internet throughout a Nov. 18, 2018 recreation towards the Buffalo Beauts. (Picture Credit score: Michelle Jay)
There may be one other vital issue to contemplate right here as effectively: Boston’s goaltending.
The Satisfaction have but to make a goaltender signing for 2019-20. Solely two groups – the Buffalo Beauts and the Minnesota Whitecaps – have signed netminder to this point. However for a free agent goaltender who is perhaps pondering the place she needs to play, seeing a principally established Boston blue line is a really profitable possibility. What goalie wouldn’t wish to have Kelly, Rheault, Souliotis and the opposite rearguards taking part in in entrance of her?
Here’s a have a look at how the Satisfaction’s roster is at present shaping out as of Jun. 24:
Protection: Kaleigh Fratkin, Jenna Rheault, Lexi Bender, Mallory Souliotis, Lauren Kelly.
Ahead: Tori Sullivan, Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, Mary Parker, Jillian Dempsey, McKenna Model.
Starting Might 15, NWHL groups can re-sign gamers from their 2018-19 roster and their draft picks. Moreover, for these gamers who’ve accomplished their faculty eligibility and wish to proceed their hockey careers, NWHL Free Company offers one of the best alternative to proceed taking part in on the highest stage of professional girls’s hockey. The fifth season of the NWHL will start in October because the Minnesota Whitecaps look to defend their Isobel Cup championship.
My colleague Dan Rice will maintain THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings all through the summer time, whereas I put up updates on Buffalo and Boston. Collectively we might be maintaining readers knowledgeable of all of Minnesota’s signings.
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