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The 2016–17 NWHL season is the second season of operation of the National Women's Hockey League.

2016–17 NWHL season
NWHL 2016-17 Logo.png
LeagueNational Women's Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Regular season
Season championsBoston Pride
Season MVPBrianna Decker
Top scorerBrianna Decker
MVPBrianne McLaughlin
Isobel Cup
ChampionsBuffalo Beauts
  Runners-upBoston Pride
NWHL seasons

All four teams from the inaugural season returned for this season: the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale.



During the off-season the Connecticut Whale moved to Northford Ice Pavilion in North Branford, Connecticut and the defending champion Boston Pride moved to the new Warrior Ice Arena in the Boston neighborhood of Brighton.

On August 1, 2016, it was announced that the New York Riveters moved to the Barnabas Health Hockey House in Newark, New Jersey, situated within the Prudential Center. The facility was the site of the first-ever Isobel Cup Finals and shall be the site of the Riveters' home games during the 2016–17 New York Riveters season.[1]

With the changes in arenas, it left the Buffalo Beauts, playing their second season at HarborCenter, as the sole team not to change arenas.

NWHL DraftEdit

The 2016 NWHL Draft took place on June 18, 2016 and it was the second in league history. Defender Kelsey Koelzer of Princeton was selected first overall by the New York Riveters.[2]

News and notesEdit

  • August 2, 2016: The league announced a partnership with You Can Play, which will also see each team feature an ambassador.[3]
  • August 4, 2016: The league announced that all four inaugural season jersey designs would be retired.[4] All four teams enter the upcoming season with new jersey designs, that shall be voted upon by fans online.
  • October 7, 2016: Buffalo Beauts player Hailey Browne became the first transgender athlete in professional North American team sports, asking to be referred to by the name Harrison Browne. As the hormone treatments involved with gender transition violate anti-doping regulations, Browne will remain fully biologically female during his playing career.[5] Browne initially retired at the end of the season to with plans to start a full transition, but returned to play for the Metropolitan Riveters the following season.
  • November 17, 2016: Part way into the league's second season, the NWHL informed its players that they would all be getting up to a 50% pay cut. The league claims the pay cut is needed in order to sustain the longevity of the league. This dropped the league player minimums to $5,000 per player.[6] Five weeks later, in an attempt to partially compensate for the salary rollback, the league introduced an incentive program where players from the home team split the revenue generated by tickets sold in excess of 500 after each game.[7]
  • February 3, 2017: The league announced that the season and playoffs would be shortened to accommodate for the players' participation in the 2017 IIHF World Championships and preparations for the 2018 Olympic teams.[8] The season was originally set to end on April 16, following a three-week break for the World Championships. The regular season was instead scheduled to end on March 12 and then followed by a single-game Isobel Cup playoff semifinals and final to be held March 17–19.

All-star gameEdit

The 2nd NWHL All-Star Game was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the first NWHL game to be played outside of its four markets. Amanda Kessel and Kelley Steadman were named as All-Star captains. Kessel would go on to score the first hat trick in NWHL All-Star history.

Regular seasonEdit


Boston Pride 17 16 1 0 73 29 32
New York Riveters 18 8 7 3 55 58 19
Buffalo Beauts 17 6 10 1 44 68 13
Connecticut Whale 18 5 12 1 60 77 11

Scoring leadersEdit

  • The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of season.
Player Team GP G A Pts
Brianna Decker Boston Pride 17 14 17 31
Alex Carpenter Boston Pride 17 9 20 29
Haley Skarupa Connecticut Whale 16 11 11 22
Janine Weber New York Riveters 17 10 12 22
Meghan Duggan Boston Pride 17 13 7 20


Semifinal game Isobel Cup Championship
1 Boston Pride 8
4 Connecticut Whale 2
1 Boston Pride 2
3 Buffalo Beauts 3
2 New York Riveters 2
3 Buffalo Beauts 4

Awards and honorsEdit

  • Brianna Decker, Boston Pride, 2017 NWHL Most Valuable Player
  • Brianna Decker, Boston Pride, 2017 NWHL Scoring Champion
  • Ashley Johnston, New York Riveters, 2017 NWHL Denna Laing Perseverance Award
  • Megan Bozek, Buffalo Beauts, 2017 NWHL Defensive Player of the Year Award
  • Katie Fitzgerald, New York Riveters, 2017 NWHL Goaltender of the Year


  1. ^ "New York Riveters leave Brooklyn for Newark". Today’s Slapshot. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  2. ^ "Kelsey Koelzer Taken First Overall". Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "NWHL partners with You Can Play". You Can Play Project. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  4. ^ "NWHL retires inaugural season jersey designs". 2016-08-04. Archived from the original on 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  5. ^ "NWHL player Harrison Browne comes out as a transgender man". ESPN. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  6. ^ "NWHL HIT WITH BAD NEWS". The Fourth Period. November 18, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-18. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "NWHL players to receive attendance bonuses". Excelle Sports. 2016-12-23. Archived from the original on 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  8. ^ "NWHL to complete playoffs before world championships". ESPN. February 3, 2017.

External linksEdit