The Boston Blades of the CWHL announced its final roster for the upcoming season on its website Monday, marking the end of try-outs and the start of the season.
The team added skill and depth among the forwards and completely revamped its goaltending situation, going for a one-two situation after former first-string goalie Genevieve Lacasse left Boston for a position in Calgary and a spot on the CWHL’s Inferno.
While six goalies tried for the positions, chosen were Shelley Payne, a Colby graduate who last played professionally in Europe for Goteborg Hockey Club and Lauren Dahm, a former Clarkson University goalie. Both tend towards a more acrobatic, situational style of goaltending but Payne tends to play pucks a little more conservatively than Dahm.
On offense, the Blades added first-round draft pick, forward Kayla Tutino, to the Boston bench, whose team-focused play will create scoring opportunities as well as produce points. Additionally, Casey Pickett re-joined the Blades roster after taking the past season to serve as a practice player on the NWHL’s Boston Pride. Besides Pickett and Tutino, nine new players were added to Boston’s ranks, re-distributing last years’ players among the lines and ensuring Boston would no longer face a short bench.
Also present on the final roster was last year’s captain, defender Tara Watchorn, a defender on Team Canada and one of the top scorers for the Blades in its 2015-16 season. Joining her on defense will be Japanese defenders Sato Kikuchi and Nachi Fujimoto (the latter of whom is sister to Nana Fujimoto, a netminder on Team Japan and the New York Riveters during the 2015-16 season). Fujimoto was a draft pick by Les Canadiennes de Montreal but was traded to Boston for future considerations.
While the defense didn’t see as much change as the offense, several of the new defenders on the team have played primarily as forwards over the course of their careers and may bring an offensive edge to the back end.
The rest of the roster can be viewed on the Blades’ site.