Jessica Koizumi announced her retirement today from the NWHL. Koizumi, the Connecticut Whale’s first team captain, will join Ohio State University’s women’s hockey coaching squad. She was one of the league’s oldest players last season.
The Whale have decided to replace Koizumi by signing former Riveters’ defender Elena Orlando to a $12,000 contract. Orlando was a popular player with the fans for her physicality and fearlessness on the ice and her and amiability off of it.
Before this recent development Orlando had joined the Whale’s practice squad along with Celeste Brown. Interestingly, Orlando, a natural defender, was listed as a forward/defender in the league’s press release.
Elena Orlando (F/D) will fill in on the full-time roster with a one-year, $12,000 contract. Orlando was signed by the Whale as a practice player this past offseason after playing for the New York Riveters last season. She registered one assist and 17 penalty minutes for the Riveters in the 2015-16 season.
This makes Orlando the only former Riveter (excluding Shenae Lundberg who was traded last season) to sign a contract with another NWHL team this offseason. She made $10,000 last season with the Riveters.
Prolific Clarkson scorer Juana Baribeau will take Orlando’s place on the Whale’s practice squad. Baribeau last played NCAA Division 1 hockey in the 2011-12 season and is one of the highest scorers in Clarkson’s women’s hockey history.
The Riveters’ preseason begins with a matchup against Team Russia and former Riveter Lyudmila Belyakova on September 25th.