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Riveters Sign UFAs Fratkin and Leonoff

Two of the Whale's biggest stars are now with the Riveters.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

From the NWHL's press release:

Kaleigh Fratkin and Jaimie Leonoff have signed contracts with the New York Riveters for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Chad Wiseman announced Sunday. Fratkin and the Riveters agreed to terms on a one-year, $19,500 contract. Leonoff and the Riveters agreed to terms on a one-year, $10,000 contract.

"I decided to sign with the Riveters because they offered me an opportunity that I thought would be the best fit for me," said Fratkin. "I am beyond excited to be a part of the Riveters organization and look forward to chasing the Isobel Cup."

Fratkin played in 18 regular season games for the Whale last season, scoring 17 points (5g, 12a) and leading all league defensemen in scoring. She added another assist in the Whale’s three playoff games. Leonoff played in 10 games for the Whale, posting a .936 SV%, 2.96 GAA, and 7-3-0 record.

"I'm really happy to be a part of the Riveters organization," said Leonoff. "I have heard amazing things about the staff and the coaches, and I am looking forward to competing with a top team this season."

Fratkin and Leonoff are the first players to sign in unrestricted free agency for the 2016-17 season.

Fratkin led all NWHL defenders in scoring last season and Leonoff led all goaltenders in save percentage and was second only to Boston's Brittany Ott in wins. Along with the Amanda Kessel signing that came later in the day, it is clear that Riveters' general manager Chad Wiseman is looking to put a much more talented club out on the ice next season.

It's hard not to get excited about the nine players that the Riveters now have under contract.

Wiseman still has some work to do to fill out the rest of the Riveters' roster, but no other general manager has been as active or impactful on the first day in free agency. The loss of Alex Carpenter in the trade that brought $2,000 in cap space and Miye D'Oench to the Riveters makes a lot more sense now that the Riveters have been able to poach talent away from the Whale and bring one of the nation's best goal scorers into the fold.

We'll keep you posted on other Riveters news as it unfolds.