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Montreal PWHL signs goaltender Elaine Chuli, defender Kati Tabin to contracts

The Montreal PWHL team has signed goaltender Elaine Chuli to a one-year contract and defender Kati Tabin to a two-year contract, the team announced on Monday.

Chuli will likely be the main backup to Ann-Renée Desbiens, but Desbiens has not yet practiced with her new team. With injuries always a concern, getting an experienced goaltender locked in was important for the team. Chuli won the Isobel Cup last season with the Toronto Six and also has experience in the CWHL and PWHPA.

She was drafted in the 13th round, 78th overall by Montreal in the 2023 PWHL Draft. The 29-year-old had a 32-7 record in the PHF with a 2.16 goals against average and .924 save percentage. She was the 2021-22 PHF Goaltender of the Year. She also played 42 CWHL games with Toronto and Vanke with a 21-18-1 record over two seasons.

Chuli is one of five goaltenders in camp, including Desbiens, Marlène Boissonnault, Marie-Soleil Deschênes, and Blanka Škodová. Montreal needs to cut down from 32 players to 27 by November 29, and the final 23-player roster will be finalized by December 11.

Tabin is a left-handed defender and also joins Montreal from the Toronto Six. The Winnipeg native signed a two-year contract, and is the second defender signed to a contract so far.

She played 30 career PHF games, including 24 last season for the Isobel Cup champions. She had four goals and 14 assists. Her 18 points last season led all PHF defenders. The 26-year-old was drafted in the fifth round, 30th overall.

She will be looked at to provide offence from the back end while remaining responsible, much like fellow signed defender Erin Ambrose.

The Montreal team has a busy week ahead, with two team scrimmages planned for this week.