The Connecticut Whale announced on April 16 that they are bringing back one of their longest-tenured players for the NWHL’s upcoming sixth season. Kaycie Anderson will be returning for her fourth season with the franchise after setting career-highs across the board in her third and best season with the Whale.
Anderson played in all 24 of Connecticut’s games (plus two playoff games) and set career-highs in points (11), assists (8), goals (3), shots on goal (61), and shorthanded goals (1). This came after the prior season when she was out of the Whale’s lineup more often than in it, appearing in only six games.
“Kaycie had a breakout season,” said Whale GM Bray Ketchum Peel in the press release announcing the signing. “She gained confidence in all situations and continues to develop as a stronger and stronger player with each season.”
“She is a quiet leader who is respected among her teammates, and we are excited to welcome her back for her fourth season!”
Anderson is the fourth player to re-sign with the Whale this off-season, re-joining goalie Brooke Wolejko, defender/captain Shannon Doyle, and center Emma Vlasic on the 2020-21 edition of The Pod.
“Kaycie has been a hard-working and reliable player since her first season with the Whale,” Doyle said via text. “Each season she continues to push herself and her teammates to be their best, and is never without a smile on her face!”
The 28-year-old from Minnesota also had a big hand in recruiting Allie LaCombe, a fellow Minnesotan, to join Connecticut for the final seven games of the season.
In 42 career games, Anderson has 13 points (4g-9a) and two of her four goals were of the highlight reel variety, were against the Metropolitan Riveters, and at least three came via a breakaway. Anderson is pointless in three NWHL playoff games for the Whale, but this past regular season she finished tied with Doyle for the team lead in points.
Smiles For Miles
“Season five was my favorite yet. It was full of amazing things I got to be a part of – ringing the Nasdaq opening bell and the NWHL/AHL doubleheader as well,” said Anderson in the press release.
“I can’t wait to continue growing the game alongside so many passionate and inspirational women! I love this sport and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to play for the Whale.”
“I’m so excited to be back for another season, and I think there’s going to be a lot of great stuff in season 6!” she added via text.
Before joining the NWHL, Anderson played four seasons at Norwich University and recorded 118 points (48g-70a) in 118 career games. While playing for the Whale she also coaches and volunteers at hockey camps and clinics throughout Connecticut.
If you just looked at the record you wouldn’t think the Whale’s last season was a success. But if you watched them play any game after Jan. 1 you knew they were one of the toughest teams to play against in the NWHL.
That showed as the regular season winded down and they pushed Boston and Minnesota to the brink. That showed when they won a playoff game in Buffalo – their first playoff victory in four years/their first win against the Beauts in six tries during the season. That showed when they were in a one-goal game in the semifinal in Boston with less than ten minutes left in regulation.
Anderson has become a key player for Connecticut, with another season of experience under her belt and her speed always being an asset, she could surpass last season’s totals and the Whale will be more successful.