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Kendall Coyne the Perfect Pick for the Boston Pride

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Although Kendall Coyne’s home state is Illinois, there is a strong sense of local pride among New England hockey fans. After a remarkable run with the Chicago Mission, she attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts, introducing her to a new region of fans ready to see this prodigious star reach her potential, obtaining the 2011 New England Player of the Year Award. As the scoring catalyst for Boston’s Northeastern Huskies (which was also the alma mater of NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan), it was where she rose to greater prominence, eventually earning two gold medals at the IIHF Women’s Worlds with the US national squad, and a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Games.

While most of the attention in the inaugural NWHL Draft (held in Boston) centered around whether the New York Riveters would select Alex Carpenter or Hannah Brandt with the first pick overall, the reality is that Kendall Coyne is every bit the franchise player that these two All-World talents are destined to become. Going third overall to the Boston Pride, the franchise could not have asked for a better pick. The selection of Coyne instantly gives the Pride a superstar player with name recognition in Boston.

Her instant acceleration and remarkable playmaking abilities were on full display in a gold medal effort at the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championships, skills that gave opposing nations nightmares. Those same skills have enamored her to a devoted fan base in Boston where she has earned All-America status, Hockey East First-Team All-Star honors and the 2013 Beanpot MVP Award with the Huskies.

Having battled in the prestigious Women’s Beanpot for so many seasons, there is a tinge of irony in knowing that fellow members of the Boston Pride’s inaugural draft class were rivals in the event. Among them are the likes of Boston College’s Lexi Bender, also a 2015 Hockey East Second Team All-Star, plus a pair of Harvard Crimson teammates, All-America goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer and Miye D’Oench, who scored the championship clinching goal in the 2015 ECAC championship game.

With one year of NCAA eligibility remaining, Coyne shall be one of the favorites for the 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award. Although a key goal that would solidify her Huskies career is to help the program qualify for the NCAA tournament, there are two career milestones adding to the anticipation of a promising senior season.

Currently second all-time among Huskies players in career goals scored (91), she is also 35 points away from reaching the NCAA’s 200-point club. In addition, she is only 43 points away from breaking Hilary Witt’s program mark for career points.

Should some of her former Huskies teammates or fellow members from Team USA find their way to Boston, the potential for on-ice magic may accelerate Pride hockey into the conversation for an Isobel Cup. There is certainly a true feeling of pride among Boston hockey fans, knowing that Coyne shall compose the next chapter of her superlative career in the city that has adopted her as one of their own.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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