Jordan Smelker recovering defensively against the Connecticut Whale. Photo by Michelle Jay.
BROOKLYN, NY – Jordan Smelker, a member of the 2016 Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride and the 2017 finalists, is back for a third season with the club. The forward has signed a contract for the 2017-18 NWHL season.
“I love this team and this league, but the biggest motivator in coming back for a third season is getting the Isobel Cup back to Boston,” said Smelker, who will turn 25 on June 19.
In 39 games played over two seasons with the Pride, Smelker has 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points. She played for gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2015 Four Nations Cup, and played one season for the 2015 Clarkson Cup champion Boston Blades in the CWHL before joining the NWHL.
She is highly regarded for her play in all zones. During her senior year at RPI, Smelker was a finalist for the ECAC’s Best Defensive Forward Award. That year, she was RPI’s captain and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player. In 135 games at RPI, Smelker was 34-58-92.
“RPI was an important learning experience for me,” said Smelker. “The academics were challenging and I grew a lot there. The school helped shape the person I am now.”
The Anchorage, Alaska native developed in the Alaska Firebirds/Team Alaska girls’ hockey program before leaving for RPI. Her parents have since moved to Montana, which Jordan calls “home” now.
Smelker graduated from RPI in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and currently works in research and development for the blood and plasma supplies company Haemonetics.
In recent weeks, she has taken up a new hobby – Muay Thai. Smelker does not expect to turn pro in the martial arts.
“I’m really bad at it,” said Smelker, “but it’s a lot of fun.”
The 2017-18 NWHL regular season is set to begin in October, featuring founding four franchises Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters playing a full slate of home games as well as neutral site games. The NWHL compensates all players and offers a revenue share on player jerseys and shirseys.