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Four Pride Players to Lock-Up in Free Agency

By Marisa Ingemi, 05/09/17, 2:30PM EDT


free agency "must-signs" for the boston pride

With it being an Olympic season, it’s tough to say who the Boston Pride might have skating on the Warrior ice come this fall. With a roster made up of stars such as Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, and Meghan Duggan, the team is inevitably going to lose some depth.

Being the deepest team in the league has its perks, however, and the Pride can get by if they build around some talent they already have.

Blake Bolden: With an already strong defensive group returning, Bolden is going to find herself on the top pairing. One of the best players in the league not to make the national team roster, the offensive and defensive threat could have a breakout season.

Jordan Smelker: Smelker, often times on the top line with Knight and Decker, saw a decline in production in the 2016-2017 season. However, she is going to return as one of the most skilled players on the roster, and will likely be an anchor on that top line. With the Pride losing their top four forwards, Smelker is going to be a top line winger and will have to work with maybe a group of less experienced talent.

Jillian Dempsey: Last season Dempsey had some bursts where she was one of the most productive players on the Pride roster. Like Smelker, she is going to be relied on with the losses of the Olympic players. If she returns, she should also find herself on that top line. Dempsey proved herself to have one of the top shots on the team and scored some of the Pride's most important goals last season.

Rachel Llanes: Llanes might find herself atop the line charts as a center with Decker and Carpenter with the national time. Llanes last season had a strong campaign at the faceoff dot and showed some ability to score, and with some more ice time, could be one of the most productive players on the Pride; as a top center, they'd have to rely on her.