University of Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille became the first NWHL draft pick to sign with a team today when she inked a one-year contract with the Buffalo Beauts worth $15,000.
Leveille was drafted 12th overall in the 2015 NWHL draft.
“I grew up in a sports-minded family where hockey was by far our favorite sport,” said Leveille in the team announcement. “I used to watch every Montreal Canadiens game with my dad and envision myself one day playing in the NHL, like every kid does.”
In her time with the Gophers she raked in three national championships, serving as the starting goaltender in three seasons. She posted a .942 save percentage or better in each of those campaigns. Her 116-game career concluded with a .947 save percentage and 1.18 goals against average.
She is the second player signed to join the Beauts for the upcoming season, following the signing of Paige Harrington earlier in the month.
The Beauts made it to the Isobel Cup Championship this season, where they lost to the Boston Pride with U.S. National Team goaltender Brianne McLaughlin between the pipes. If McLaughlin returns to the Beauts, they will have one of the best goaltending tandems in the league. Amanda Makela and Kimberly Sass also played for the Beauts in net.
“I want to play in the NWHL because I support girls’ professional hockey, and hope one day young girls will dream of playing in the NWHL,” Leveille said. “I am grateful for and looking forward to this opportunity with a new organization.”
The restricted free agency period opened on April 1 and closes April 30. Free agency begins on May 1.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.