NHL

5 players to watch during the NWHL’s All-Star Weekend

The NWHL will take over Boston this weekend with an All-Star game and skills challenge. Here's who to keep an eye on.

NWHL All Star Game Hockey
Team Stecklein forward Gigi Marvin shoots past Team Szabados defender Michelle Picard in the 2019 NWHL All-Star game. The Associated Press

When the NWHL All-Star festivities get underway in Boston this weekend

, 30 players will hit the rink at Warrior Ice Arena to celebrate the best of their sport. Eight of those players are members of the hometown Boston Pride, who have the most selections of any NWHL team.

Of the remaining All-Stars, seven play for the Minnesota Whitecaps, six represent the Buffalo Beauts, and the Metropolitan Riveters and Connecticut Whale will each send five representatives to Boston.

Here are five players to watch this weekend.

Jillian Dempsey, Boston Pride

The league’s all-time leading scorer, Dempsey will captain one of the two All-Star teams this weekend. This year alone, the Winthrop native leads the league in points (36), assists (21), and points per game (1.7). Dempsey, who has captained the Pride for the past three seasons, was recognized with the league’s Denna Laing Award in 2018 and 2019, “awarded to the player who most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport.”

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On Jan. 27, she became the first player to reach 100 career points.

Dempsey played at Harvard, and was a Patty Kazmaier finalist her senior year (2012-13) and a two-time All-ECAC and All-Ivy League first-team honoree.

Kate Leary, Metropolitan Riveters

Leary is a local product who played hockey at Boston College after graduating from The Governor’s Academy in Byfield. In addition to being second on the Riveters in scoring with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists), the forward is a head coach for the Walpole Express.

Prior to this season, Leary played for the CWHL’s Boston Blades, where she led the team in scoring for two seasons, and was the leading scorer in the Swiss Hockey League last year.

The NWHL Player of the Month for December, Leary will also participate in the new Skill Challenge relay race. Four skaters from each team will navigate obstacles before scoring an empty-net goal and skating back to where they began.

Kaleigh Fratkin, Boston Pride

A Boston University alumna, the Burnaby, British Columbia native is the all-time scoring leader among defenders. In addition to participating in the All-Star game itself, Fratkin will participate in the hardest shot contest during the skills challenge on Saturday.

Fratkin’s three goals and 15 assists lead defenders on the Pride, and she has a whopping +29 plus-minus ranking. An original member of the NWHL, Fratkin was the first player to sign a contract for the 2019-20 season.

Amanda Leveille, Minnesota Whitecaps

A two-time Isobel Cup champion, the Kingston, Ontario native returned to Minnesota, where she played in college, when the NWHL expanded to include the Whitecaps in 2018. Leveille is chasing Selander in league-wide stats, with 13 wins and a .932 save percentage for the second-place Whitecaps.

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The 2018 NWHL Goaltender of the Year was named Player of the Month for January.

Lovisa Selander, Boston Pride

Dempsey brings the best offense to the league, and the best goaltending is right here in Boston, too. Selander graduated from RPI last year as the NCAA’s Division 1 record-holder for career saves with 4,167. The 23-year-old, from Sollentuna, Sweden, also set program records in starts, losses, and ties while finishing second in wins and third in shutouts.

In her first professional season, Selander leads the league with 14 wins and a.934 save percentage.

https://twitter.com/thebostonpride/status/1224460187077173248

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