Two-time NWHL All-Star Kelly Babstock has been traded to the Metropolitan Riveters. After being the sixth player to sign with the new NWHL expansion team, The Toronto Six in May, Babstock is headed to New Jersey for her 5th season in the league. The high-energy forward played her first 3 seasons as a member of the Connecticut Whale and her 4th with the Isobel Cup finalist Buffalo Beauts. “I am ecstatic to join the Riveters Organization and I can’t wait to get out there and play the game I love with this passionate squad” Babstock said.
“The Riveters organization is looking forward to the skill and experience that Kelly will bring to the team,” said Riveters general manager Kate Whitman Annis. “We believe Kelly will have an immediate impact on our forwards. Her ability to put the puck in the net is an asset we needed to build during this off-season. We have put together an incredibly competitive Riveters team for the 2020-2021 season.”
Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Babstock excelled in both hockey and lacrosse. She grew up in a full house, one of six children. Her collegiate career was played at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. As a Bobcat, Babstock was the all-time leader in goals (95), assists (107) and points (203). Other honors included ECAC Player of the Year her freshman year, she was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation’s best college player as a senior and was named Second Team All-American. Babstock was a two-sport athlete her senior year, playing women’s lacrosse as well. In that season, Babstock was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team and accrued 21 points (14 goals, seven assists) ranking her 2nd-best on the team.
Babstock played in 65 games during her 4 seasons as a professional hockey player. She had 27 goals and 33 assists for 60 points, earning All-Star honors in 2017 and 2018. Babstock is no stranger to the Riveters having scored her 1st NWHL goal against them in 2015 making her the 1st Canadian-born player to score in a NWHL regular season game. An ever-present force on the ice, Rivs captain Madison Packer is looking forward to playing on the same side as “Babs” in season 6. “She’s a strong, hard working player who plays the game in a way that makes you appreciate her a lot as a teammate and dread facing her as an opponent” Packer said. “Babs is a huge offensive threat with a lot of skill, who goes hard whistle to whistle. She’s an unselfish player who creates a lot of space and opportunity for her line mates but is also a threat on her own.”
Beyond her scoring abilities, Babstock’s exuberant personality will be sure to pair well with many of the Rivs players. “Kelly’s leadership skills, compete level and her energy will fit right into our locker room and match well with the team culture we have started building here last season,” said Riveters head coach Ivo Mocek. “She can play on any line but I am curious to see her alongside her former Buffalo teammate, Emily Janiga.”
When the Riveters practice officially begins next week, Babstock is looking forward to finding that chemistry that will bring home the Isobel Cup. Babstock saying “It’s really special to be able to play the game of hockey, but to battle for a championship in New Jersey is an amazing opportunity and I couldn’t be more pumped to get out there.”
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