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Markham Thunder sign free agent Brooke Webster

The former Vanke Rays forward joins the Thunder for the 2018-19 season.

Jenna Dingeldein(44) of the Toronto Furies faces off against Brooke Webster(26) of the Vanke Rays. An official stands ready to drop the puck and Furies forward Brittany Zuback (19) waits in the background. Chris Tanouye - CWHL

The Markham Thunder announced this morning that they have added free agent Brooke Webster to their forward corps.

Webster was a third round pick of the Vanke Rays in the 2017 draft. She ended the regular season tied for second in team scoring, with 26 points in 26 games. This followed an excellent senior season with St Lawrence University, where she racked up 57 points to rank third in the country.

While most CWHL contracts are two years in length, players on the Vanke Rays and Kunlun Red Star only sign one-year contracts to match the length of their Sport Ambassador contracts in China, moving them into free agent status a year early.

Per the team announcement:

Webster is excited to get started with her new CWHL team. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about the players and staff in Markham,” she says, “Playing against the Thunder last year, you could see how strong of an organization they are, and I am excited to join after such a successful year they had.”

“I always have high expectations for myself, so having another strong season is definitely something I am striving for. However, the league keeps getting more competitive, especially with the Olympians back,” she says, “First I want to help our team have as much success as possible, and personal success will come from that.”

Thunder head coach Jim Jackson describes Webster:

“Brooke is a tense competitor who pairs being an offensive threat with a strong defensive mindset.”

Webster is the second free agent from the Chinese teams to sign in Canada — Zoe Hickel was lured from Kunlun Red Star to the Calgary Inferno at the end of June.

As the reigning Clarkson Cup champions, there’s no doubt that the Markham Thunder are a strong team and the addition of Brooke Webster will only make them stronger.