The Buffalo Beauts have added the first defender to their 2019-20 blue line. Word was released on the morning of Aug. 1, 2019 that former Markham Thunder player Meg Delay had signed with the team. Delay is the fifth signing that the Beauts have made this summer.
“Megan’s experience and accomplishments at the pro level speak volumes to what she will bring to the Beauts this season,” said Beauts General Manager Mandy Cronin in the press release for the signing. “Couple that with her character and infectious spirit, and she will be an immediate fan favorite.”
The 22-year-old Delay is a native of Niagara Falls, Ontario – just over the border from Buffalo. She helped the Thunder win the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup championship for the 2017-18 season.
A Solid Free Agent Camp from Delay
This particular signing was pretty much expected. Delay participated in the Beauts recent Free Agent Camp on Jul. 27 and 28. Add in her recent winning experience with Markham, and she makes a highly suitable defender for Buffalo or any NWHL team.
“Megan has demonstrated a steady development in her career, and I’m confident her time to shine is now with the Beauts,” added Beauts head coach Pete Perram in the release.
In Delay’s lone season with the Thunder, she played 21 regular season games and earned a solitary assist. Possessing a right-handed shot, she presents some interesting options for Perram’s use on the point.
While she has yet to tally a professional-level goal, THW agrees with Perram that 2019-20 could very well be a breakthrough year for Delay – both in her level of play and in the stats columns.
It will be quite intriguing to see what fellow defenders end up joining her to round out Buffalo’s blue line corps. We are aware that two Slovakian Women’s National Team defenders – Iveta Klimášová and Lenka Čurmová – we also in attendance at the camp. Assembling Delay, Klimášová and Čurmová as at least one half of the top-six defenders for Buffalo looks to be ideal.
Delay’s Collegiate Experience
Besides her professional experience, Delay has also proved herself at the collegiate level. She played the 2015-16 season for the Plattsburgh State Cardinals, an NCAA Division III school in Upstate New York. Delay played 27 games that season, scoring a goal and 10 assists. Former Connecticut Whale players Kayla Meneghin and Melissa Sheeran were also members of that same team. The 2015-16 Cardinals won the NCAA Division III national championship.
Wrapping up her time at Plattsburgh, Delay returned closer to home and played the 2016-17 season for Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. While playing for the Badgers, she was teammates with fellow Beauts newcomer Kim Brown. Delay recorded four assists in 18 games for Brock, and was second on the team in penalty minutes with 30.
Plenty of reasons totaling why Delay is an ideal signing for Buffalo. She has won two championships in a very young career. There is familiarity with some of her new teammates and the nearby surroundings of Buffalo. And perhaps most important to the Beauts success, Delay is right of the cusp of being a topnotch talent.
“I’m looking forward to a great season as a Beaut,” she said. “Playing in the NWHL and for Buffalo is an incredible situation for me – living across the pond at home and playing with and against great players. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
As of Aug. 1, here is how the Beauts’ roster currently looks:
Goaltender: Mariah Fujimagari.
Defender: Meg Delay.
Forward: Corinne Buie, Brooke Stacey, Kim Brown.
Beginning May 15, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2018-19 roster and their draft picks. Additionally, for those players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, NWHL Free Agency provides the best opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fifth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Minnesota Whitecaps look to defend their Isobel Cup championship.
My colleague Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.