NWHL sees first trade as Whale, Riveters swap goaltenders

The NWHL has its first trade as the Connecticut Whale flipped goaltender Chelsea Laden to the New York Riveters for netminder Shenae Lundberg. Both Laden and Lundberg had appeared in one game this season and had fallen into a third-string role with their former teams.

The list of firsts keeps growing for the NWHL as the burgeoning women’s league announced the first trade in league history. The swap saw the New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale flip goaltenders ahead of this weekend’s action.

The deal sees Chelsea Laden head to the Riveters, while fellow netminder Shenae Lundberg is headed to the Whale. The swap won’t have a major impact on the either club and likely won’t play a part in the fate of either club down the line.

According to the league, some players in the NWHL do have no-trade clauses written into their contracts but neither Laden nor Lundberg had that as part of their deals. Laden is set to earn $14,000 this season, while Lundberg earns slightly more at $15,000.

Laden, 23, had appeared in one game for the Whale so far this season. In her only start, Laden picked up the victory with a 36-save performance back on Oct. 18, but she hasn’t played for the Whale since. She’s been listed on the team sheet as a backup six times since, but Connecticut goaltenders Nicole Stock and Jamie Leonoff have taken the bulk of the starts for the league-leading Whale. Laden joins Nana Fujimoto and Jenny Scrivens in a crowded Riveters crease.

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Before coming to the NWHL, Laden spent four seasons at Quinnipiac University. She was the starting netminder in her final two seasons, playing 70 games. In her final season, 2014-15, Laden suited up in 36 games with a goals-against average of 1.19 and .930 save percentage.

Like Laden, Lundberg, 22, has only suited up in one contest, but her single appearance came in relief of Fujimoto during an Oct. 18 blowout at the hands of the Boston Pride. Lundberg allowed four goals on 32 shots as the Riveters dropped the game 7-1, and she hasn’t seen the net since. She will join Leonoff and Stock in Connecticut.

Lundberg spent four seasons at Union College before coming to the NWHL and was the team’s starting goaltender for her final three seasons. Her best season came in her final year when she posted a 2.95 GAA and .918 SP in 34 appearances.