Yesterday the NWHL held the draft for its inaugural All-Star Game, which will be held January 24 in Buffalo.
In case you missed it, here are the two teams.
- Kacey Bellamy (Boston Pride)
- Kelli Stack (Connecticut Whale)
- Kaleigh Fratkin (Connecticut Whale)
- Janine Weber (NY Riveters)
- Jamie Leonoff (Connecticut Whale)
- Alyssa Gagliardi (Boston Pride)
- Jordan Smelker (Boston Pride)
- Brianna McLaughlin (Buffalo Beauts)
- Shelby Bram (Buffalo Beauts)
- Amanda Pelkey (Boston Pride)
- Jordan Brickner (Connecticut Whale)
- Brianna Decker (Boston Pride)
- Meghan Duggan (Buffalo Beauts)
- Kelley Steadman (Buffalo Beauts)
- Nana Fujimoto (New York Riveters)
- Megan Bozek (Buffalo Beauts)
- Gigi Marvin (Boston Pride)
- Blake Bolden (Boston Pride)
- Brittany Ott (Boston Pride)
- Shiann Darkangelo (Connecticut Whale)
- Emily Field (Boston Pride)
- Zoe Hickel (Boston Pride)
Both teams are obviously pretty stacked, albeit a little Pride-heavy. If you’re mad about that, you can change it! Right now! Starting today, you can tweet your votes to add two more players to each squad using the hashtag #NWHLAllStarDraft. The rosters will be finalized on the 15th, so you have four days to Tweet your heart out. Unsure who to vote for? The following ladies are very good options who deserve to be there.
You can also vote by going to the NWHL's voting page.
Devon Skeats (Buffalo Beauts)
Somehow, she skated under everyone’s radar…or should I say Skeat-ed.
Anyway, Skeats is tied for second in goals in the league and is the only member of the top five goalscorers to go unselected in the draft. After a problem with her visa prevented her from joining the team from the beginning, she wasted no time in getting some points, notching nine through only five games. In Buffalo’s sole win of the season, she scored two goals and had six shots on goal, including the game-winner. For her efforts, she was named the Player of the Week on December 1. Less than a week later, she scored a hat trick against the Pride during the Beauts’ first visit to Boston, a goalfest of a game that the Pride won, 7-6, but just barely.
If you’d like to see more of this, toss her some votes!
Ashley Johnston (New York Riveters)
This is another shocker. If the NWHL kept track of blocked shots (ahem, they should), Johnston would likely be leading the category. All those games against the Riveters shut down the Pride’s offense? That was Johnston’s work. On a Riveters team that’s having offensive struggles, her strength on the blue line has been crucial in keeping them afloat. Also, I just learned that she’s a mechanical engineer and works with robots, which is pretty damn badass. The New York captain should have been chosen during the draft. Let’s right this wrong and get her in the All-Star Game.
Kelly Babstock (Connecticut Whale)
Babstock, along with Kelli Stack, has been one of the driving offensive forces behind the undefeated Connecticut Whale. While her goal total of four may seem low compared to some other All-Stars, she has risen to the occasion when her team needs her most. Namely, both times that the Buffalo Beauts have threatened their undefeated record and forced the game to go to shootout, she has scored in both of her chances.
Or, if you want EVEN MORE Pride players on the roster, then both Jillian Dempsey and Rachel Llanes are worthy of your vote. The line mates have both been brilliant this season, especially during the back-to-back this weekend when their goals lifted the Pride over a persistent Beauts team. My money would be on Llanes in the fastest skating portion of the skills competition.
So, who are you voting for?