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Riveters Sign RPI Captain Alexa Gruschow

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New York Riveters Media Day Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NWHL’s press release:

Alexa Gruschow has signed a contract with the New York Riveters for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Chad Wiseman announced Monday. Gruschow and the Riveters agreed to terms on a one-year, $12,000 contract.

“I decided to join the NWHL because I want to continue playing the sport that I love,” said Gruschow. “It is amazing that there is a professional women's hockey league in the US that provides such great opportunities for female athletes.”

Gruschow graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2016, where she collected 93 points (46g, 47a) in 133 NCAA games. Her senior season, she led the team in goals and points as captain. Gruschow attended the NWHL’s first Free Agent Camp of the offseason in Newark, NJ, on June 10-12th, 2016.

“I am honored to be a part of this league and I am excited to join the

Riveters,” Gruschow continued. “I'm looking forward to being a part of

this team and joining a program that serves as an inspiration to young

girls in our sport. I can't wait for the competitive season to begin!”

It appears that the Riveters and general manager Chad Wiseman have made yet another move early in the 2016 offseason and, as we all expected, it wasn’t another defender signing.

The Riveters have added Alexa Gruschow from RPI’s women’s hockey program for $12,000. Gruschow was the captain of her team at RPI and will provide solid forward depth for the Riveters in what will likely be a third line role.

Gruschow hails from Mechanicburg, Pennsylvania which is why she was present at the Free Agent Camp in Newark that was also attended by Elena Orlando and Gabie Figueroa. It’s interesting to see a new face in a depth forward role for the Riveters with popular players Celeste Brown and Meghan Fardelmann from last year’s team still unsigned. Perhaps Wiseman was eager to see some new blood. Clearly, he liked what he saw from Gruschow in Newark.

Gruschow elected to go to RPI because playing in a Division I hockey program was a priority for her. In her four years there she was a consistent producer after briefly faltering in her goal scoring in her sophomore year. She finished with 93 points in 133 games for the Engineers.

Here is a video of Gruschow scoring her first NCAA hat trick against UNH. Clearly, she has no issue with going hard to the net.

Gruschow signing for just $12,000 out of the free agent camp leaves some cap space available for the Riveters to go after another top-end talent to compliment Amanda Kessel on the first line. Her signing also means that the Riveters now have seven forwards signed for next season, which leaves just two spots left for forwards for the 2016-17 roster.

So, who signs next?