PWHL Ottawa acquires forwards Vanišová, Darkangelo to bolster playoff push

PWHL Ottawa added a pair of forwards in separate trades on Monday, as the team makes a push for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Ottawa acquired forward Tereza VaniÅ¡ová from Montreal in exchange for defender Amanda Boulier in a bid to add more offence. Then, the team swapped forward Lexie Adzija and the rights to forward Caitrin Lonergan for Boston’s Shiann Darkangelo, who will give the team another option down the middle.

Both trades were announced on Monday after the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline passed. Rosters will be frozen after 12 p.m. Tuesday, giving teams a few more hours to sign players who’ve been released from other teams.

VaniÅ¡ová leaves Montreal tied for fourth on the team in points (10 in 17 games played) and has spent stretches this season playing on Montreal captain Marie-Philip Poulin’s wing on the top line. VaniÅ¡ová signed a two-year contract with Montreal after she was drafted in the seventh round in September.

The trade reunites the Czech winger with Carla MacLeod, who coaches the Czech women’s national team in addition to serving as Ottawa’s head coach, and with Czech teammates Aneta Tejralová and Kateřina Mrázová. All three will play for MacLeod on Czechia’s team at the women’s world championship in April.

“Obviously, our coach knows exactly what [VaniÅ¡ová] brings to the table,” Ottawa general manager Mike Hirshfeld said in a statement.

“She is an incredibly exciting top-six forward who is under contract for next season as well. She is one of the best skaters in the world and we are thrilled to add that dimension to our roster.”

Darkangelo adds centre depth

The Ottawa-Boston swap may seem unusual, since both teams are in the hunt for the final playoff spot. But it could be mutually beneficial and fill a hole on both rosters.

Ottawa traded away a fan favourite in Adzija, who has done her best work for Ottawa this season in front of the net, recording eight points in 17 games including five goals.

Adzija brings size and depth scoring to Boston, a team that’s had trouble putting the puck in the net this season. She’s on a one-year contract.

A hockey player looks at the net and opposing goaltender behind her. She doesn't see the puck between her skates.
Ottawa forward Lexie Adzija, left, will add a net-front presence to Boston’s roster. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

In return, Ottawa gets an experienced centre in Darkangelo, who captained the Toronto Six to a league championship in the now-defunct Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) last season. Darkangelo was the second-leading scorer on the Six last season but has had a slow start to her PWHL career, logging one point in 17 games while on a one-year contract with Boston.

“She is a veteran player who has been through battles and playoff races,” Hirshfeld said. “We wanted to add her experience to our roster. She is going to work hard and bring veteran leadership.”

Lonergan was drafted by Ottawa in the 14th round of September’s draft, but she didn’t attend training camp or sign with the team. She last played for the Connecticut Whale of the PHF in 2022-23, logging 18 points in 23 games.

Boston defeated Ottawa 2-1 in a shootout in a neutral site game in Detroit this past weekend, leaving Boston one point ahead of Ottawa for the last playoff spot.

Both VaniÅ¡ová and Darkangelo are expected to be in Ottawa’s lineup for its game Wednesday in Connecticut against New York.

Depth on defence for Montreal

In Boulier, Montreal adds needed depth to its blue line. Montreal had no defenders on its reserve list as of Monday afternoon, and one right-shooting defender (Dominika Lásková) on long-term injured reserve with a serious injury.

A female hockey player wearing a red Ottawa jersey skates on the ice.
Defender Amanda Boulier adds defensive depth to PWHL Montreal ahead of the playoffs. (Arianne Bergeron/PWHL)

Boulier, who’s on a one-year contract, had six points in 17 games playing on the right side. She was a 13th-round draft pick in September.

“We can’t thank her enough for what she brought to the table,” Hirshfeld said about Boulier. “Her personality helped create our culture. We wish her all the best. This is a very difficult trade to make because of the person and the player that she is.”

Trading away VaniÅ¡ová leaves a hole in Montreal’s top six. A candidate to fill it is Mikyla Grant-Mentis, who was signed to a 10-day contract off the reserve list last week. She registered three points in six games with Ottawa before she was released from that team, and is a former PHF MVP.

Montreal has lost its last three games, including two losses to league-leading Toronto. The team takes on Minnesota on Sunday.

The PWHL regular season will break after March 25 and resume on April 18 following the world championship tournament in Utica, N.Y.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Back To Top