In a stunning move this afternoon, first-year GM Chad Wiseman has found a way to significantly bolster the offense of his team.
Amanda Kessel is a New York Riveter.
In 127 games at the University of Minnesota, Kessel amassed 248 points, scoring 108 goals and notching 140 assists. In 2013, she was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top female college ice hockey player in the United States. She played for USA Hockey in the IIHF World Championships, earning a silver medal in 2012 and gold in 2013, and participated in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, where she earned a silver medal. Her most recent accomplishment came at the end of 2015-16 season, when she and the Minnesota Golden Gophers upset then-undefeated Boston College to win the 2016 National Championship, with Kessel scoring the game winning goal.
The contract will be a one year, $26,000 deal, making Kessel the highest paid player currently in the NWHL.
Kessel sat out the 2014-15 and much of the 2015-16 seasons while dealing with lingering post concussion symptoms. On February 3, 2016, Minnesota announced that Kessel had been cleared to join the team for the remainder of the season, and she made her season debut against North Dakota on February 5, 2016.
Kessel had this to say regarding her new contract, "I am beyond excited to join the New York Riveters and the NWHL next season. It is a great opportunity to help the league continue to grow and be a future dream for young girls. The fact that little girls can now say they want to play in the NWHL is inspirational for me and the future of women's hockey." Kessel continued, "I'm thrilled for a new opportunity and challenge. New York is going to be a great spot for me. I'm a competitor and I love to win, so I hope to bring my experience and contribute to a winning team and culture."
The Riveters are shaping up to be a very different team come October, and will look to avenge a disappointing first season finish in fourth place.