The Boston Pride have announced the return of three more defenders for the 2020-21 season, inking Jenna Rheault, Lauren Kelly, and Mallory Souliotis to add to Kaleigh Fratkin, and draft picks Paige Capistran and Taylor Turnquist.
Souliotis, taken by Boston with the 8th Overall Selection in 2017 after a stellar collegiate career at Yale, finished second among Pride defenders this year with 2 goals and 12 assists for 16 points, all career highs. She was a First Team All-Ivy League member and the leading scorer among Ivy defenders (4-20-24) in her senior season with the Bulldogs.
Also, it means we get another year of Tito the Pirate Cat as the team’s mascot. You know, the important things.
— Dan Rice (@DRdiabloTHW) May 8, 2020
“Mallory brings grit and great poise to our defensive zone,” said Boston GM Karilyn Pilch. “We will rely on her to defend the den, while adding, do I dare say, a few toe-drags to the offensive side of the game.”
Rheault, taken with the final pick (25th Overall) by the Pride in the 2018 Draft, had a stellar rookie campaign. The Deering, NH native and UNH alum followed up a standout career with the Wildcats by tallying a goal and 5 assists in 24 games. Her only goal was a memorable one however, as she netted the overtime winner in Buffalo on December 21st.
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) December 22, 2019
“Jenna had a very impressive rookie NWHL season, with her best game coming in the Isobel Cup Semifinal victory over Connecticut,” said Pilch. “She is a confident and steady blueliner who continues to develop because of her diligence and focus at every practice and workout.”
Kelly had a successful 2nd season with the Pride after an excellent career with Northeastern, adding 2 goals and 10 assists in 23 games from the back end.
.@LaurenKelly215 just throwin’ it on net and hoping for the best
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) January 5, 2020
“Lauren is a solid defender who consistently shuts down rushes, and eliminates scoring opportunities for our opponents,” said Pilch. “Her toughness and vision make her pivotal to our defense.”
Rheault and Kelly are an excellent pair of shutdown defenders, and Souliotis is a great foil for Fratkin on the blueline. With these signings, and the drafting of Turnquist and Capistran however, the team is now up to 6 defenders (assuming the latter two both sign, something I anticipate occurring). This means there is likely going to be some departures. Currently, Briana Mastel, Whitney Renn, and Lexi Bender are the three remaining defenders without a contract for next season.
Stay tuned to Pride Diehards (@PrideDiehards on Twitter) for any additional signings and news out of our favorite women’s professional hockey team!
By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey