The first ever NWHL Draft is now in the books and the Buffalo Beauts selected 5 players that will take the ice at the HarborCenter in 2016. Even though Beauts got the sort end of the straw choosing 4th in each round they managed to pick up some great players and some homegrown talent.
Courtney Burke, Defenseman -Wisconsin
Courtney Burke hails from our state capitol. Burke left Albany at age 13 to play for prep school Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota. The 5′ 9″ defenseman has accumulated 73 points and has a +/- rating of +60 in her first three years with the Badgers. The Badger was named to the All-WCHA Rookie team, All-WCHA 2nd team in 2014 and All-WCHA 3rd team in 2015. She has played on the International stage with USA hockey. Burke has been in five International tournaments since 2010 picking up 11 assists.
Sarah Lefort, Forward -Boston University
Sarah Lefort becomes first Beaut selected from Canada. Lefort grew up in Ormston, Quebec. She has played for Team Quebec in the 2011 Canada Winter Games and won a Gold Medal for Canada at the 2012 IIHL World Women’s U18 Championship. Lefort was 8th in scoring and goals in the NCAA this past season for the Terriers. She has had back-to-back 50 point seasons in her sophomore and junior year at BU. Lefort was selected as Hockey East Second Team All-Star this year.
Amanda Leveille, Goalie -Minnesota
Amanda Leveille is the first Goalie the Buffalo Beauts have drafted. The 5′ 7″ goalie is from Kingston, Ontario where she attended Frontenac Secondary School. Leveille helped lead Minnesota to an NCAA Championship this winter stopping 19 of 20 in the Championship game against Harvard. The Golden Gopher was second in the nation in save percentage (.946). Leveille lead Team Ontario Red to a Gold Medal at the 2011 Canada National Women’s U18 Championships. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for her performance between the pipes for the Golden Gophers.
Emily Janiga, Forward -Mercyhurst
The Beauts hope they have a hometown hero in Emily Janiga. The Forward of Mercyhurst grew up in East Aurora and played high school hockey at Nichols. Janiga showed promise early as she has played in every game of her first three years at Mercyhurst. As a junior, Janiga became co-captain of the Lakers and became the College Hockey America Player of the Year and College Hockey America Scoring Champion. She was All-College Hockey America First Team for her sophomore and junior seasons and earned All-College Hockey America Rookie Team as a Freshman. Janiga was a 2014 Women’s National Festival invitee for USA hockey.
Jenna Dingeldein, Forward -Mercyhurst
The Beauts with the final pick in the draft selected Janiga’s teammate in Jenna Dingeldein. Dingeldein grew up just a few hours away from the HarborCenter, in Toronto. Dingeldein, like Janiga has played in all of her collegiate games so far. The 6′ 1″ Forward had 35 points for the Lakers this season giving her All-College Hockey America Second Team honors. She received along with Janiga All-College Hockey America Rookie honors in 2013.