The Markham Thunder added a name to their blueline today in the form of Alexis Woloschuk, a former Boston University defender and seventh-round pick of the Boston Blades in 2016.
Woloschuk spent the past year in Sweden with HV71, where she was partnered with Lindsay Grigg, Markham’s 2017 second-round draft pick. While Grigg is a more offensively inclined defender, Woloschuk seems to fit the stay-at-home mold. She had 6 points in 36 games last year, and a peek at her career stats for BU confirm that she’s probably not going to be giving the Thunder a lot of scoring help. However, there’s a lot of use to be found in a safe, stay-at-home type to partner with someone like Grigg and free her up to take offensive risks.
Because Woloschuk was drafted into the CWHL last year, but chose not to sign with the Blades, the CWHL considers her a free agent who can choose to sign with any team. She originally signed with HV71 for two seasons, so like Grigg, she’ll need to be released from her SDHL contract. HV71 listed her as a “returning player” only three months ago, so the decision to come back across the Atlantic may have been a recent one.
With the losses of Laura Fortino and Jocelyne Larocque to centralization, and Sarah Edney signing with the Buffalo Beauts, Woloschuk is a solid addition to boost the Thunder’s blueline. They now have more freedom to prioritize other needs—predominantly, how is Markham going to replace Jess Jones’ scoring? We might have to wait until training camp to get an answer to that question.
The Markham Thunder’s first pre-season game will be a home game on September 23rd, facing off against their GTA rivals, the Toronto Furies. It’ll be our first chance to see two largely restructured rosters in action.