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Bulbul Kartanbay Signs with Riveters, Becomes First NWHL Player from Kazakhstan

By Amanda Ghysel, 08/16/19, 9:30AM EDT

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Bulbul Kartanbay has signed with the Metropolitan Riveters, becoming the NWHL’s first player from Kazakhstan.

“My dream came true,” said Kartanbay, well-known among hockey fans for her passionate pursuit of playing professionally in North America. “I am grateful to life for the opportunities that have opened before me. Now it’s time to compete in the NWHL among many of the top players in the world.”

Kartanbay has made a name for herself in Kazakhstan, a nation where women’s hockey continues to rise in popularity. She has been in the Kazakhstan National Team system since she was a teenager, putting up six points in 10 games in a pair of U18 World Junior Championships. She made her senior team debut at 18 and has competed in five World Championships.

In 2017-18, she was 10-6-16 in 11 games as the captain of Tomiris Astana of the Kazakhstan Women’s League. Last season, Kartanbay had 8 goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 21 games with the Calgary Coyotes of the Southern Alberta Women’s Hockey Association.

“We are really proud to welcome Bulbul to the Riveters and the NWHL,” said general manager Kate Whitman Annis. “Her skill, dedication to the game and incredible enthusiasm will make her a valuable player for our team and a favorite of the fans.”