The Connecticut Whale have signed 2020 NWHL draft selection Nicole Guagliardo, a highly-skilled forward who led Adrian College in points last season and was named Second Team AHCA All-American.
“I’m proud and thrilled to finally see my dream of playing pro hockey in the NWHL become a reality,” said Guagliardo. “My hope is to do my part for the Whale so we can have our most successful season yet and win the Isobel Cup. I want to continue to see the NWHL grow and gain more fans and awareness of women’s hockey. To the fans of the Whale and of all the NWHL teams: thank you for your support. I believe with the addition of an expansion team in the great hockey city of Toronto, and with all of the talented and dedicated players who have started to fill the rosters so far, 2020-21 is going to be a memorable season. Fins up!”
In 2019-20 Guagliardo had 16 goals and 17 assists for a team-high 33 points, and she was honored for her superb season with selection to both the AHCA All-American and the NCHA All-Conference teams. She tied for the lead in NCAA Division III with six game-winning goals.
Prior to playing at Adrian as a senior, Guagliardo played for Mercyhurst and Lindenwood. In 2018-19, she led Lindenwood in points, with 22 on 12 goals and 10 assists. Before college, Guagliardo played for the Chicago Mission and helped lead the team to a national championship in 2015 and the bronze medal in 2014 and 2016.
“I had the pleasure to coach Nicole in her senior season after she made the move to come to Adrian from Lindenwood, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with her,” said Adrian head coach Shawn Skelly. “Nicole not only led our team in scoring, but she led by example. This opportunity to continue her hockey career as a pro on Connecticut is something I know Nicole will cherish. She will also work very hard to succeed against the league’s elite. Everyone at Adrian is very proud of Nicole and wishes her the best of luck on her NWHL career with the Whale.”