The first-ever trade in the history of the Professional Women’s Hockey League has been made, and it is a big one.
On Sunday, PWHL Boston traded defender Sophie Jaques to Minnesota. Defender Abby Cook and forward Susanna Tapani are heading the other way to Boston.
Jaques came into the PWHL after being drafted in the second by Boston in the inaugural league draft. The 24-year-old was coming off an incredible senior season at Ohio State, where she was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award for being the best player in college hockey. Jaques was just the second defender to win the award, and first since Hall of Famer, and fellow Buckeye, Angela Ruggiero earned the accolade in 2004.
“Sophie will add depth to our blueline,” Minnesota general manager Natalie Darwitz said. “She had a dominate NCAA career and we are excited about her future in Minnesota.”
Jaques came into her rookie season with a lot of upside, but has not quite found her footing in Boston. Through seven games, she has yet to register a point, and has a -4 plus/minus. She was the second blueliner acquired by Boston, as Megan Keller was signed as a free agent.
Tapani was a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in the draft. The Finnish native signed a two-year contract with the team, and had a reasonably good start to the season. In nine games, Tapani had notched two goals and three assists, and was fifth on the team in scoring. Both of her goals game in Minnesota’s 3-2 win over Ottawa on Jan. 17, where Tapani scored the game winner in overtime.
Cook signed a one-year contract with Minnesota out of training camp. In nine games with Minny, she has one goal in nine games, that coming in the team’s 2-1 OT win over New York on Jan. 28.
The trade addresses differing needs for the two teams. Minnesota wants some more assurance on the back end, while Boston needs an additional scoring touch if they want to hang with teams like Minnesota and Montreal.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday night. Boston is hosting Toronto, while Minnesota is at home against Ottawa. Boston (4-2-1) is third in the league, six points back of Montreal, while Minnesota (5-2-2) is in second, just two points out of first.