USNT Gold Medalist Melissa Samoskevich Signs with the NWHL’s Connecticut Whale
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 10, 2020
DANBURY, CT – The Connecticut Whale today announced the signing of Melissa Samoskevich, the star forward from Quinnipiac University and member of the 2019 IIHF World Championship gold medal-winning U.S. National Team. The 5-4 forward, who was raised in Newtown, will join her home state NWHL team for the 2020-21 season. The Whale selected Samoskevich with the second overall pick in the 2018 NWHL Draft.
“I’m very excited to be part of the Connecticut Whale family,” said Samoskevich, 23. “I’ve taken a lot of pride in playing CT hockey since I was very young, and I’m happy to continue to play near home in my professional career. It will be great to see my family in the stands again! I look forward to learning and growing as a player and person through collaboration with Coach Colton Orr, the entire staff, and my new teammates. I can’t wait to get the NWHL season started!”
Samoskevich made her U.S. National Team debut at Four Nations Cup in 2018, earning U.S. Player of the Game honors in a preliminary round victory over Sweden. She scored two goals in seven games as the U.S. captured gold at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Finland. Samoskevich has also represented the U.S. in several competitions, including two IIHF U-18 World Championships (gold in 2015, silver in 2014), and three U-22 and three U-18 Series vs. Canada.
In 144 games at Quinnipiac between 2015 - 2019, Samoskevich had 54 goals and 55 assists for 109 points. She was named ECAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, led the Bobcats in points in her sophomore and junior seasons, and was a captain as a junior and senior.
“We’re thrilled to have Samo in Connecticut and excited that another hockey community will get to experience the love she brings to the game every day,” said Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner. “Samo has tremendous character, drive to always be at her best and commitment to valuing everything required to be an elite athlete. She plays with consistency with and without the puck and a competitiveness to do whatever it takes to win. It will be fun to watch her success and her impact on the Whale this season. Good luck, Samo!”
In her final year at Shattuck St. Mary’s School, Samoskevich was honored by USA Today in 2015 as the All-USA Girls Player of the Year.
Samoskevich played eight games last season for Bryan IF in the SDHL, and had six assists.
“Whale fans…get excited!” said Connecticut GM Bray Ketchum. “The addition of Melissa is a major move for our organization. She brings elite talent and a lot of experience to our lineup, and she’s a relentless player and dedicated leader. This is a big day for the Connecticut Whale and our fans. We’re proud to have Melissa on board.”
Photo credit: USA Hockey and Quinnipiac Athletics