The Minnesota Whitecaps have significantly bolstered their blue line with the addition of star defender Sydney Baldwin for the upcoming NWHL season. Baldwin, 23, is a two-time NCAA champion with the University of Minnesota, a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.
Prior to her collegiate career, Baldwin was a three-time all-state honoree for Minnetonka High School and led the team to three straight Minnesota Class AA State titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She was named to the all-tournament team each time. In 2014, Baldwin was honored as Ms. Hockey in Minnesota.
"I am incredibly passionate about the game of hockey and am excited to continue my journey on the ice and be a part of the Whitecaps,” said Baldwin. "My goal is to start the year strong and give the fans entertaining games and help the team defend the Isobel Cup. I’m very grateful for this and looking forward to the start of the NWHL season."
Baldwin helped lead the Golden Gophers to the NCAA National Championship in her freshman and sophomore seasons. After being named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in her first season, she notched at least 16 points in her next three seasons of college hockey.
As a senior in the 2017-18 season, Baldwin was named co-captain of her team and set career highs in goals (12), assists (20) and points (32). Perhaps even more impressively, she led the nation in blocked shots (104) and was one of just six defenders to register at least 110 shots on goal that year. At the end of her senior season, she was named a CCM/AHCA First Team All-American, a Kazmaier finalist, the WCHA Player of the Year, the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, and was All-WCHA First Team.
On the international level, Baldwin was a member of Team USA at the IIHF U18 World Championships in 2013 and 2014 and of the U.S. U22 team for series against Canada in 2015 and 2016. She's also attended four USA Hockey Women's National Festivals (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016).
Last season, Baldwin was a star for EHV Sabres Wien in Europe's Elite Women's Hockey League (EWHL). She led her team's blue line in scoring with 19 points in 10 games. She also helped guide the Sabres to the EWHL final by scoring two goals and picking up an assist in two playoff games.
“Sydney was a great star in high school and college,” said Whitecaps GM and co-head coach Jack Brodt. “We have no doubt she’ll be an outstanding player in the NWHL and a leader of our defense.”