Monday afternoon the NWHL announced that Michelle Picard had signed with the New York Riveters for $17,500 over the next year. Picard is a defender out of Harvard University and an Olympic silver medalist, a distinction earned in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
“The success Michelle has had as a player speaks for itself,” said Riveters general manager and head coach Chad Wiseman. “Her attitude, commitment, and respect she has earned from every other coach and player she has worked with is what makes her a perfect fit for our organization.”
She most recently earned gold at the Women’s World Cup in Kamloops, B.C. on the U.S. Women’s National Team roster. Picard is so valued by the USWNT that she has played in every Four Nations tournament since 2010 as well as every IIHF Women’s World Championship since 2012.
The Massachusetts native has played 66 games in a USA Hockey jersey, beginning with the 2010 IIHF U-18 World Championship. As a college athlete Picard played 128 games at Harvard, earning 53 points (8G, 45A) from the back end.
“I decided to join the NWHL so that I could continue playing the game I love,” said Picard. “Last year I was honored to be drafted, knowing that it provided a great opportunity for me to join the league this year. I’m excited to be in New York and join my teammates in a battle for the Isobel Cup.”
In Picard the Riveters have added a puck-moving defender, a focus of Wiseman’s in the 2016 offseason. He has ensured New York will be much faster on transitions and more skilled on the back end; sources indicate Wiseman isn’t yet finished building out the defense and will look to add a sixth defender, having suffered the consequences of being low on defensemen in his inaugural season when then-GM Dani Rylan signed only five to her blue line and visa delays left Wiseman dealing with the fallout.
Picard was chosen sixth overall by the Connecticut Whale in the 2015 NWHL Draft, and was traded to the Riveters for forward Haley Skarupa during restricted free agency.