The New York Riveters, Connecticut Whale and Boston Pride each signed a 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division I, graduates to their rookie National Women’s Hockey League seasons on Monday.
University of Vermont defender, Rachael Ade joined the Whale, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, forward and captain, Lindsey Hylwa signed on with the Riveters and Northeastern University forward, Paige Savage inked a deal with the Pride.
Ade, a Davenport, Florida native developed her hockey skills with the Boston Shamrocks youth program prior to her collegiate career at Vermont. Over four seasons patrolling the blueline for the Catamounts, she put up 11 goals 21 assists in 143 games.
The computer science major, mathematics minor graduate, attended the NWHL Free Agent Camp this past month in Boston. Ade is hoping to pursue a career in software development, as she continues to play the game that she loves, professionally.
She said, “This is a unique opportunity to be able to play the sport that I love professionally, and to be a part of the NWHL while the league is growing and evolving. It is a little surreal that I get to be one of the athletes that shows my younger sisters this new, possible avenue.”
As captain of the Shamrocks, put up six goals and seven assists in 26 Junior Women’s Hockey League games. Her first collegiate goal was scored in the Quarterfinals of the Hockey East Championships against the university of Maine on March 1, 2014.
Ade did not miss a game from her Sophomore season through her Senior year, and served as a co-captain of the Catamounts as a senior. She graduated as a member of the winningest class in UVM history.
Hylwa, a five-foot-eight forward, played 128 games in four seasons at RPI.
Prior to attending RPI, the Cary, North Carolina native attended the Cary Christian School and Gilmour Academy. She also laced them up for the Junior Carolina Hurricanes Girls’ program, from 2007 through 2011.
The defensive forward helped lead the Junior Hurricanes to two USA National Championships and one Southeast District Championship. She won 52 percent of her faceoffs with the Engineers this past season.
Hylwa joins Alexa Gruschow and Lauren Wash as the third member of the RPI Engineers under contract for the 2017-2018 season. The Riveters will hope Hylwa, Wash and Gruschow will continue to build off the chemistry they had with the Engineers. Wash picked up the helper on Hylwa’s first NCAA goal.
Savage, became an unrestricted free agent on June 1, after the Whale were unable to sign the 15th overall selection in the 2016 NWHL Draft, during the restricted free agency period between May 1 and May 31.
The Pride’s newest forward put up 37 goals and 69 assists in 149 games at Northeastern. Prior to her time with the Huskies, Savage represented Team USA at the Under-18 World Championships in the Czech Republic.
In 2011-2012, she helped lead North American Hockey Academy U-19 team to a JWHL title. She also led the team in scoring during the run to the title.
Savage, whose family moved around often while she was growing up said, “After my time in Northeastern, Boston has become my home. I definitely am not ready to give up hockey, and the NWHL gives me a chance to pursue my dream. I also want to search for coaching opportunities in the area.”
The Riveters, Whale and Pride will be facing off against Team Russia in the NWHL/Russia Summit Series prior to the beginning of the 2017-2018 season in October, when along with the defending Isobel Cup Champion Buffalo Beauts will begin their “Quests for Isobel.” All four teams play the full slate of the home games, with a few neutral site matchups as well, as the league looks to continue to grow the game.