Kaleigh Fratkin, a defender from Burnaby, British Columbia who enjoyed a successful collegiate career at Boston University and has been an NWHL standout since its inaugural season, has signed a contract to return to the Boston Pride.
Fratkin will receive a salary of $11,000 for the upcoming season. The collection of players competing in the 2019-20 season will also receive a 50 percent cut of all revenue from league-level sponsorship and media deals. Players also receive 15 percent of the revenue from apparel sold with their names on them. Fratkin’s shirsey can be ordered here. The season is expected to see an increase to a 24-game schedule, with almost all games on weekends, and practices on weeknights to best fit the schedule of the players’ personal careers. In addition to playing for the Boston Pride, Fratkin works in marketing at Under Armour.
“It’s easy for me to stand up for the NWHL because it has done a lot for our sport and provided many opportunities for me personally,” said Fratkin. “I will never be able to fully express how much it means to me to be a founding member of the NWHL. It's something I don't take for granted. From the very beginning I've witnessed the positive impact our league has had on so many aspiring young players.”
Fratkin rejoins Boston for her third season with the Pride and her fifth in the NWHL, after spending her first two seasons with the Whale and Riveters, respectively. She is the only player in league history to play for three different teams. A defender who excels at both ends of the ice, Fratkin has posted eight goals and 31 assists in 71 games in the league. A two-time NWHL All-Star, Fratkin led the league’s defenders in scoring in the inaugural season. She joined the NWHL after winning a Clarkson Cup with the Boston Blades of the CWHL.
PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY
Fratkin played in the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game.
Fratkin also participated in the NWHL All-Star Game in Pittsburgh in 2017.
"It means everything to me to be going on my third season with the Pride, and I'm certainly happy to have the opportunity to stay in Boston to play the sport I love,” said Fratkin. “I've had experiences playing on three awesome teams in the NWHL, and being a Pride member is at the very top of the list.”
Over her four years at Boston University, Fratkin appeared in all of her team’s 151 games, finishing tied for most games played in program history. In her time with the Terriers, she was 9-57-66, earning Hockey East First-Team All-Star and All-Tournament Team honors as a senior. She served as an alternate captain in her final season.
Growing up, Fratkin played with the Vancouver North West Giants, becoming the first girl to play on a boys’ midget major team in British Columbia. The Giants won the provincial championship in 2010. She was also the first female to play Jr. B in the PIJHL.
She was a member of Team British Columbia U18 for four years, playing in three consecutive U18 National Championship tournaments, and she competed in the Canada Winter Games as a double-under age player.
Fratkin was a member of the Canadian National Team Program, attending development camps from 2007-2015. In addition to winning the silver medal at U18 World Championship in 2009, she won a gold medal with the Canadian Development team in 2015 at Nations Cup in Germany.
“In my view, Kaleigh was one of the top defenders in the NWHL last season,” said Boston head coach Paul Mara, the former NHL defensemen who was also an assistant coach of gold medal-winning Team USA at the Olympics in 2018. “She plays the game with intensity, with great intelligence, and she has one of the hardest shots in the league. I always try to have her on the ice against the opponent’s top line, so I’m really happy she’s back with the Pride.”
More from Kaleigh Fratkin
“I’ve decided to play a fifth season because I just want to keep playing hockey every chance I get. I have been fortunate to play professional hockey for five consecutive years after college (one in the CWHL), and I want to keep playing as long as I can. What makes me want to come back to the NWHL for another season is the excitement of the fans and how much growth and success the league has had in the last couple of years. The NWHL platform has opened so many opportunities for me as a hockey player, and also in my professional career, providing me experiences that I would never have had without the league. I can’t wait to play some hockey, have some fun, and continue to expand the women’s hockey community in a positive way.
“I currently work for Under Armour in Marketing. I love my job and I love working for UA. It’s an amazing company that strives to make athletes better, and I'm thankful to have an opportunity to be a part of such a great company.
“Every season my goal is always to play the best hockey I can each shift. I always put a lot of pressure on myself to produce every game, which hopefully leads to team success so we can win the Isobel Cup at year's end. Sometimes during a season it’s so easy to get caught up in the negatives when something doesn’t go your way or the team isn’t winning games, but this season in particular I just want to focus on all the positives and have fun.”
PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY