There are NHL players in the Hockey Hall of Fame, who were eligible to be drafted by an NHL team, and were passed by. And there will be more. Maybe their names were not recognized, or more likely the recognition did not inspire any GM at the time. Fortunately for Whale fans, our GM Bray Ketchum has a keen eye for talent, and knows a lot of really good names. And now we do too.
We all know who Sojo, Wojo, Cujo, and J-Mo are now, but maybe not so much a few months ago. Likewise names like Vlasic, Hall, Broad, Payne & Evangelous are now all integral parts of the Most Exciting Team in Hockey. But they were not names being bandied about the rink as last season came to a close. To be certain, Bray’s Bunch has a core of remarkable young veterans that we have loved for years, but it had to be replenished and enriched, and it was. By names we may not have been familiar with, but who we are now looking towards to wreak havoc over the balance of the schedule. Fins Up to that!
Now one day we may get tired of re-quoting this excerpt from our former #12 Jamie Goldsmith, but today is not that day. In Jamie’s interview here on the website, she said the following:
“The margin of talent at this level is so much closer together than any level I have played before. There is not a huge, huge difference between the Olympians, and the players that just miss the cut for their respected national teams, and the players just below that. What the league has done is give women the opportunity to continue to develop beyond college. So that is why we are seeing players that had considerably average college careers, or players rising out of the Division III ranks, succeeding at the pro level. As a believer in development through hard work, the right priorities, and attitude, it is awesome to see. What I am getting at, is team chemistry can make all the difference at this level.”
Combine that thoughtful, insightful and concise message from Jamie with a simple fact. Beginning with the 2019 college graduating classes, every player has had the NWHL in existence their entire collegiate career. And every player now entering college, and prep school or high school, will experience that on top of what they already know of the league. The hockey community is not small, but it is close knit. Everyone knows the NWHL exists, and pro hockey is a possibility for anyone. Truly, if you can play, you can now play, to borrow a phrase. Ar some point or another, there is an epiphany in an athlete’s career. A moment, a play, a game, a season, where they realize they are more than they ever thought they could be. When their name is now part of the game. When they realize that what they are experiencing at the college level, can be experienced at the professional level. Experienced, by them. And now there is a growing thriving market for them to enter. The only problem is, there are more really good players than there are teams for them to play on. But, there is a fix for that kind of problem, and it’s name is Growth. Cetacean Nation will state for the record, that the growth will come. And sooner than later, And a lot more of those as of yet unidentified Future Draft Picks out there will be the next group of names we cheer at the rink, and wear on the back of shirts, and read about here. And that’s the name of that game.
Another great new partner has joined the NWHL family, NormaTec recovery products. According to the league statement “As part of the sponsorship, NormaTec will provide each of the five NWHL teams with the company’s state-of-the-art PULSE 2.0 systems, which are used by athletes as both a high-tech warmup and a post-workout recovery tool. In addition to promotion on the NWHL’s global streams on Twitch and the league’s social media platforms, NWHL players will lead activations with NormaTec products at select events.” Player reaction has been immediate and positive about this significant addition to our team. Our #8 Erin Hall tweeted “Excited that I now have access to 2(!) pairs of @NTRecovery boots! I’m so glad I invested in a pair for at home while also being able to use them with @CTWhale_NWHL Thanks for supporting the #NWHL @NTRecovery 💪🏼” You can find out more about NormaTec and all our NWHL sponsors and partners by going to our menu and clicking on SPONSORS. Fins up to that and to the role our former #4 Anya Packer and the NWHLPA play in these great partnerships as well.
Final note, you can catch the Pod in exhibition play when they travel up to New Hampshire to face-off against Saint Anselm’s this Saturday, November 9th. You get to see Whale playing, and probably coaching as well. our #3 Kayla Meneghin, Assistant Coach for the Hawks has indicated that will most likely be the case for her. Fins up to this cool event!