Swedish Olympic forward Michelle Löwenhielm made waves Tuesday by becoming the first player in Damkronorna history to join the National Women’s Hockey League, when she signed a one-year contract with the Connecticut Whale.
“For me, it’s all about finding an environment to help me grow as a person and develop as a player, and being a part of the NWHL and Connecticut Whale does that,” she said in the NWHL’s press release. She recently completed her NCAA career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Löwenhielm, 23, has competed for Sweden at both the junior and senior levels. She won three U18 bronze medals, played in four IIHF World Championships, and was a member of the 2014 Olympic team in Sochi. At the domestic club level she spent four years in Stockholm with AIK and took home the SDHL (then Rikserrien) championship in 2013. She last played for Sweden during the 2016-17 season and aims to return to national team duty.
What can Whale fans expect from Löwenhielm? Her former AIK coach Ylva Martinsen described her as “playful, technical, and an excellent goal scorer,” all much-needed traits for a team coming off a less-than-ideal season.
Continuing their recent free agency activity, the Whale also announced four other signings Tuesday: Randi Griffin, Sarah Hughson, Hanna Beattie, and goaltender Sam Walther.