With free agency in full swing for the NWHL teams have been busy trading draft rights. Boston finally got into the mix on Thursday. They made the much expected move to acquire local product Alex carpenter’s rights. Before all the trading began most people assumed they would just eat the $5,000 cap hit and sign her but when Connecticut and New York decided to start swapping their picks Boston hopped on in. The Pride acquired Carpenter, the top pick in the draft, for Harvard’s Miye D’Oench, the Pride's fourth round pick at 15th overall, and $2,000 in cap space.
With the trade for Carpenter the Pride still have 3F, 1D and 1G among their draft class to sign. Since they traded for Carpenter’s rights you have to assume they have a strong lead in signing her, which makes sense with her strong local ties and the closeness to so many Team USA members. Their original top pick Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne also seems likely to sign. The third round pick Lexi Bender of Boston College, the third highest points-scoring defenseman in NCAA D1 last season, should fit in nicely on defense.
Then there are the two Canadians drafted. First is the second round pick Harvard’s Emerence Maschmeyer. This pick was a real head scratcher from the start. While she did play at Harvard she is from Alberta, Canada, with strong ties to Team Canada. With the NWHL schedule being only one game a weekend keeping two top goalies makes much less sense then the two game a weekend CWHL. The Pride already have an extremely capable goalie in Brittany Ott. As a result there are major questions as to how much Maschmeyer would actually get to play and why should want to sign where she would get very limited playing time. The other is the 19th pick Shannon MacCaulay of Clarkson. This pick also seemed to be a bit of a throw away. Most people have MacAulay going to the CWHL to join er former Clarkson team-mates Erica Howe and Patty Kaz winner Jamie Lee Rattray in Brampton.
This leaves the Pride with three roster spots to clear. The seemingly obvious pick for Bender is to replace Marissa Gedman. Bender was a high scoring blue liner for Boston College over her four years. Gedman while a solid player seemed like the closest thing Boston had to a weak spot on defense, with fewer points and more penalty minutes than any other full-time player, though with how good the Pride were that isn’t exactly a dig on her abilities.
As for the two forward positions there are a few different options. Only five forwards on the full time roster had less then 10 points. Local Kelly Cooke drew the short straw with only 4 points while Emily Field, Zoe Hickel Rachel Llanes and Corinne Buie all had 7 points. Both Field and Cooke have strong local ties and draw friends and family, which would be a big reason to keep them on the roster. Llanes has also built strong ties to the community working for her alma mater’s strength and conditioning program along with a coaching position at BB&N. The two that have the biggest chance of jumping ship are Buie and Hickel. Hickel had a big draw with her sister having graduated from Northeastern this past season but there is less holding her in Boston now and the possible allure of a bigger contract elsewhere could lure her away. Buie also not a local was on the short end of playing time and consistent linemates most of last season. You have to wonder if a reunion with college teammate Janine Weber in New York might be in her future.