The Buffalo Beauts are expected to draft second when the National Women's Hockey League holds its third annual player draft at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Although the Beauts won the Isobel Cup as the NWHL playoff champions in an upset last season, the draft order is based on the regular-season standings. The Connecticut Whale will draft first followed by the Beauts, the New York Riveters and the regular-season champion Boston Pride. The draft will be five rounds for a total of 20 players.
Buffalo also has 21 players under contract for the 2017-18 season, according to the NWHL.
Two players from the first NWHL Draft in 2015 played for the Beauts last season. Goalie Amanda Leveille had a 4.34 goals-against average in nine games. First Emily Janiga played in 17 games with six goals and five assists for 11 points. Leveille is from the University of Minnesota and Jania from Mercyhurst College.
Buffalo drafted five players in 2016 but only one ended up playing for the Beauts. Hayley Scamurra of Williamsville who played at Nichols School and Northeastern University signed late in the regular season and scored a goal in her only game. In the playoffs, however, Scamurra had a goal and three assists in two games.
The Beauts also drafted another former Nichols star, Maddie Elia, who played at Boston University. She is the niece of former Niagara University basketball coach Jack Armstrong.