The Buffalo Beauts drafted five players in the National Women’s Hockey League draft on Saturday afternoon – starting with an Olympian.
Buffalo’s first choice, the second pick overall, was Lee Stecklein of the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the U.S. National team, and played for Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Stecklein was the youngest member of that squad. The defender had a career-high 30 points for the Golden Gophers last season.
In Round Two, the Beauts picked Cayley Mercer of Clarkson. The forward was one of the top offensive players in the country last season, putting up 50 points in 40 games. Mercer grew up in Exeter, Ont.
Buffalo stuck close to home for its next pick. Hayley Scamurra was the team’s third-round choice. The Williamsville native attended Nichols School. The junior forward had 43 points in 38 games at Northeastern in 2015-16. Her father, Peter, played four seasons with the Washington Capitals of the NHL.
That pick was followed by the selection of Emma Woods of Quinnipiac in the fourth round. The forward had a career-high 34 points last season.
To conclude the draft, the Beauts picked Maddie Elia of Boston University. The Lewiston native also played at Nichols. She had career highs in goals (14) and points (29) in 2015-16, and will return to the Terriers for the 2016-17 season.
Buffalo had the second selection in each of the five rounds of the draft.