The Whitecaps continue to assemble their roster for the 2019-20 National Women’s Hockey League season, signing former Bemidji State standout Stephanie Anderson on Tuesday.
Anderson, a forward from North St. Paul, spent the past two seasons playing for Chinese teams in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which folded in April.
“Being able to play professionally and doing it in my home state couldn’t sound any better,” Anderson said in a statement. “For the past seven years my career has been away from home, and I can’t wait to represent the Whitecaps and NWHL here in front of my friends and family.”
Anderson, 26, spent the 2018-19 season with the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays, collecting five goals and three assists in 28 games. In 2017-18, she had eight goals and seven assists for the Kunlun Red Star. A member of the United States’ gold medal-winning team at the 2015 world championships, Anderson began her collegiate career with the Gophers before transferring to Bemidji State, where she had 31 goals and 37 assists in 142 games over three seasons.
“Steph will be counted upon for scoring goals and improving our overall team defense this season,” Jack Brodt, Whitecaps general manager and co-head coach, said in a statement.
With the signing of Anderson, the defending league champion Whitecaps have 12 players on their roster for the upcoming season. The NWHL lengthened its schedule from 16 to 24 games this season, and the Whitecaps open their second season in the league with a home series against the Metropolitan Riveters on Oct. 12 and 13.
In May, more than 200 of the top women’s players in North America, including several 2018-19 Whitecaps and members of the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic team, vowed not to play in the 2019-20 season until a more financially stable league is established.