STAMFORD, CT – The Connecticut Whale of the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) have signed Quinnipiac University all-time leading scorer Kelly Babstock, the team announced Tuesday.
"Kelly is one of the most creative stickhandlers and natural scorers that will be playing in this league. She is as difficult to play against one-on-one as anybody in the league," said general manager Harry Rosenholtz, "Kelly has an amazing spirit and a great enthusiasm for hockey. She is a spectator's dream."
Babstock was quick to establish herself as one of the most dominant players in college hockey. As a freshman with Quinnipiac, she finished fifth in the entire nation in scoring with 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists). Those totals broke single-season records for the Bobcats, and also earned her the ECAC’s Player of the Year Award.
In just her sophomore season with the team, Babstock broke the program’s career records in all three major offensive categories. She was named to the All-ECAC Second Team in 2011-12, and garnered First Team honors as a junior in 2012-13.
Her senior season saw her earn her fourth-straight New England Division I All-Star bid, as she was named to the All-ECAC First Team for the second consecutive year. That same year, Babstock became the first Quinnipiac player to be named a Top-10 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Finalist, as well as the Bobcats’ first-ever All-American.
"I am excited to play for the Whale because Connecticut has always felt like home for me, as I went to Quinnipiac," Babstock said, "I am excited to be able to be involved with the NWHL and be making history as a part of the first professionally paid women's hockey league."
One of the most prolific scorers in the country all throughout her collegiate career, Babstock finished with 95 goals, 108 assists, and 203 points to her name in 147 games played. She graduated from Quinnipiac as the program leader in every offensive category.
After wrapping up her hockey career, she joined the Bobcats’ lacrosse team for the remainder of the 2014 season, showing her expertise in an entirely different area.
"This opportunity that the NWHL provides us women is something that has never been done before and I am ecstatic to be a part of it," Babstock said.
"Being able to play and continue my hockey career is a blessing and I am excited to get out there again," she continued, "I believe I will bring a lot of energy, positivity, creativity, leadership, and most of all fun to the Whale. It's going to be an exciting experience."
Babstock is the third former Quinnipiac player to sign with the Whale so far this summer. Goaltender Chelsea Laden and forward Shiann Darkangelo are also graduates of the in-state university.
Harry Rosenholtz joins the Connecticut Whale after Chris Ardito had to step aside for personal reasons.
For more information on free agency and the NWHL, please visit NWHL.co.