The silence that has dominated most of the NWHL's offseason has been broken today with the second trade in league history and, once again, the New York Riveters were involved.
From the NWHL's press release:
Haley Skarupa (Boston College) was selected fifth overall by the Riveters, while Michelle Picard (Harvard) was chosen sixth overall by the Whale. Skarupa, a forward, finished her final NCAA season with 244 points (35g, 44a) in 144 games. Picard scored 53 points (8g, 45a) in 128 games as a defenseman across her college career.
Skarupa and Picard may continue any contract negotiations already in progress with their new club.
Restricted free agency began April 1 and lasts until April 30. Free agency begins May 1 and lasts until July 31. The 2016 NWHL Draft is June 18.
Of course, just because the trade occurred is no guarantee that Picard will be joining the Riveters for the 2016-17 season.
It's worth remembering that these rights pertain only to NWHL. Picard and Skarupa can legally sign w another league. https://t.co/VmRW0J2cuR— Kate Cimini (@k_cimini) April 26, 2016
There was some excitement about what Skarupa, Alex Carpenter, and Dana Trivigno could do together at the NWHL level after outstanding hockey at Boston College and for the US National Team, but it appears that general manager Chad Wiseman is prioritizing building a strong blue line over benefiting from the chemistry that helped give Boston College it's lethal offense.
Unsigned draft picks Picard and Erin Ambrose could be crucial additions to the Riveters' blue line which currently has two skaters under contract including captain Ashley Johnston.
The restricted free agency period is coming to a close on April 30th. Whether or not the Riveters will sign any of their draft picks or the recently acquired Picard before then will be something to keep an eye on.