The Buffalo Beauts announced on June 30 that they re-signed defender Meg Delay and signed goaltender Caty Flagg, and forward Neve Van Pelt. Delay played in 16 regular-season games and one playoff game during her first NWHL season. Van Pelt played last season at Providence College (where she was teammates with Whitney Dove, who was signed by Buffalo a few weeks ago), and Flagg tended goal at UMass-Boston last season.
A day prior the Toronto Six announced that they had signed forward Emma Woods. She played last season in the SDHL with Leksands IF. She is the fifth former player from Quinnipiac University to join the Six this off-season, and the seventh former CWHL player to sign with Toronto so far.
Beauts Lineup Coming Together
Over her 17 combined games (regular season and playoffs) Delay recorded seven points (2g-5a), highlighted by her four points over the final four games (1g-3a). Prior to joining the Beauts, she played with the Markham Thunder (2017-18) in the CWHL where she won a Clarkson Cup.
Van Pelt finished her career at Providence College (146 games) with 42 points (17g-25a) and was a consistent ace in the face-off circle for the Friars.
Flagg played two seasons at the University of New England prior to her two seasons at UMass-Boston. Let season she was named Goaltender of the Year (DIII, NEHC) and was named to the All-Conference First Team.
“Caty, Neve, and Meg will all play important roles for the Beauts this season. They are all winners and dedicated team players,” said Buffalo GM Nate Oliver in the press release announcing the signings. “Our fans saw last season what Meg brings to the table – she’s tenacious and fearless anytime she is on the ice. Caty is a significant addition to our goaltending corps, and Neve is a highly effective, two-way forward. As we continue to build our roster, these are three very key signings.
The Beauts new have 13 players signed for next season. Delay, Van Pelt, and Flagg join defenders Alyson Matteau, Marie-Jo Pelletier, Lenka Curmova, Lisa Chesson, Whitney Dove, Dominique Kremer, and forwards Taylor Accursi, Cassidy MacPherson, Autumn MacDougall, and goaltender Carly Jackson.
Woods Takes Long Road to NWHL
After being drafted by the Beauts in 2016 (14th overall) Woods graduated from Quinnipiac and took her talents to China where she played two seasons (56 games, 35 points) in the CWHL. Last season in the SDHL she racked up 29 points (10g-19a) in 35 games, which was tied for second on the team with Brooke Boquist – who also recently signed with Toronto.
“It’s been seven years since I played back at home in front of friends and family, and the Toronto Six and the NWHL have given me the opportunity to do that for the first time in my professional career,” said Woods, who was born in London, Ontario. “At the Six, we have incredible ownership and management, and a group of players that are prepared to bring everything to the city of Toronto, the fans, the league, and the future of women’s hockey. I am thrilled to have signed with the Six for their inaugural season, and I can’t wait to see everyone on the ice!”
At Quinnipiac, Woods scored 106 points (47g-59a) in 147 games and was named team captain for her senior season. She can play either at forward or on defense.
“Like all of our players on the Toronto Six, Emma Woods is a natural leader and a major talent,” Toronto GM Mandy Cronin said in the press release announcing the signing. “She brings positive energy to the ice and the dressing room and takes pride in being a great teammate. Her versatility as someone who is strong as a forward and a defender is a significant bonus as well. Emma can jump into any situation and help the Six be successful.”
With the signing of Woods, the Six now have 16 players signed for their inaugural season. She joins defenders Emma Greco and Kristen Barbara, forwards Shiann Darkangelo, Taylor Woods, Kelly Babstock, Sarah Eve Coutu-Godbout, Boquist, Mikayla Grant-Mentis, Jenna McParland, Amy Curlew, Breanne Wilson-Bennett, Lindsay Eastwood, and Natalie Marcuzzi, and goaltenders Elaine Chuli and Samantha Ridgewell.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.