Connecticut Whale captain Molly Engstrom became the third player to leave the NWHL following the announcement of salary cuts.
Per a league press release, Engstrom played her last game for the Whale this past Sunday, and head to Sweden to play in the professional women’s league.
Sources tell Puck Daddy, Engstrom will join Djurgårdens IF. Looking at SWEHockey.se, it appears her new team will play next after the new year.
This was Engstrom’s second season playing for the Connecticut Whale. She signed in the first year for $12,000 and produced 5-points in 15 games played. For year two, she earned a $6,000 pay increase to $18,000. At the time of her departure, the defenseman had recorded 3-points through nine games.
Freeing up the contract of Engstrom will help sign a cheaper player at a discounted rate, and in turn, save the NWHL some money.
Women in the Swedish pro-league are paid; however, the amount Engstrom will earn is unknown. The teams work with the player to provide housing, transportation and some money for additional expenses.
Engstrom, 33, is not the first former-NWHL player to go over to Sweden. Former Buffalo Beauts, Shelby Bram and Lindsay Grigg, made the jump overseas prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
The NWHL is on a pre-planned break and will resume games on January 7. It’s possible we see more players decide to leave the league during the break.