As training camps open this week in preparation for the NWHL’s fifth season, the following eight players have been signed to contracts:
Rose Alleva (D): Alleva, a 5-3 defender who was born in China and raised in Red Wing, Minnesota, has signed for her first NWHL season with the Whitecaps, after spending the last two years in the CWHL.
Alleva was a finalist for the famed Ms. Hockey Minnesota award in her senior season at Red Wing High and was a five-time All-Conference and three-time All-State selection.
At Princeton, Alleva scored nine goals and earned 30 assists in 115 career games. She led the Tigers’ defense in scoring in her junior and senior seasons and was Second Team All-Ivy as a senior. Alleva also won the team’s Unsung Hero Award in her senior season and was a recipient of the Preseason Athlete Award in her junior and senior seasons for her commitment to preparation and conditioning.
The versatile defender joined the Whitecaps in 2015 and spent two seasons with the club. She played in the CWHL as a member of the Vanke Rays in 2017-18 and had four points in 28 games. Last season, Alleva played 13 games for the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.
Sam Donovan (F): The Minnesota native and Brown University alumna played the last two seasons with the Connecticut Whale.
Donovan was the 5th overall pick in the 2017 NWHL Draft. She scored 68 points in 116 career games at Brown. Donovan was named Academic All-Ivy as a senior and led the Bears in scoring during her junior and senior seasons.
Nina Rodgers (F): The two-time national champion with the University of Minnesota joins the Whitecaps after playing for the Connecticut Whale.
The 17th overall pick of the 2015 NWHL Draft, Rodgers finished fifth on the Whale in scoring last year. Rodgers notched 56 points in 146 games of NCAA hockey, split between Minnesota and Boston University. The Minnesota native also won two silver medals with the U.S. Under-18 Team at the 2013 and 2014 Women’s World Championships.
Emma Stauber (D): The highly-skilled defender is back for a second season of NWHL hockey with the Whitecaps. Stauber is the 12th member of the Whitecaps’ 2018 Isobel Cup Championship roster to re-sign with the team for the 2019-20 season.
Last year, Stauber was Minnesota’s third-highest scoring defender. In 15 regular season games, she scored one goal and earned four assists for the Whitecaps while also leading the team in blocked shots.
The Duluth native was a standout player for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Stauber amassed 23 points in 142 career NCAA games and served as one of the Bulldogs’ co-captains in her senior season. The following year, she played in the SDHL with HV71 and was the team’s highest-scoring defender with six goals and seven assists in 19 games.
Carlee Toews (F): The 5-5 forward from Grande Prairie, Alberta and former captain of the University of New Hampshire Wildcats joins the Pride for her first NWHL season.
In her senior season at UNH, Toews finished fourth on her team in scoring with 17 points in 35 games. She led her team in assists (13) that year and two of the four goals she scored were game-winners. The two-way winger finished her collegiate career with 14 goals and 28 assists, and missed just one game in four seasons.
Toews, who is earning her Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion at Simmons University, made the Hockey East All-Academic Team in 2015.
Sara Bustad (D/F): Bustad played as both a forward and defender at Minnesota State University. The versatile skater scored five goals and picked up 11 assists in 138 career games with the Mavericks. The Minnesota native attended two USA Hockey National Development Camps before beginning her collegiate career.
Bustad formerly served as Community Hockey Coordinator for Diversity Development and Sled Hockey for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It was an honor and an incredible experience helping grow girls’ hockey in the Tampa Bay community,” said Bustad.
Cassie Dunne (D): Dunne is 5-foot-3 defender from Philadelphia who developed with Princeton’s Tiger Lillies girls’ program. She played four years of college hockey for Penn State University’s ACHA team. This will be her second season in the NWHL; her first was with the Connecticut Whale in 2017-18.
Dunne led the Nittany Lion Icers in goals and power play goals in her senior season in 2016-17 and led the team’s defense in scoring. She was co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National University team that won bronze at the 2017 Winter World University Games. In that same year, Dunne was named ECWHL First Team All-Conference and ACHA Academic All-American.
Leila Kilduff (D): A 5-4 stay-at-home defender from San Jose, Kilduff spent four seasons at Minnesota State University, playing in 92 career games. Last season, she finished second on the Mavericks and sixth in the WCHA in blocked shots. She has been a power skating coach since 2011.
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