Janiga Joins Riveters, Beauts Sign Draft Pick MacDougall

Two NWHL teams announced new signings earlier this week: Metropolitan Riveters announced on June 15 that they had signed forward Emily Janiga, formerly of the Buffalo Beauts, and the Beauts announced on June 17 that they have signed forward Autumn MacDougall, the 14th overall pick at the 2020 NWHL Draft.

Janiga Joins Rivs

During her two prior seasons in the NWHL (both with Buffalo) Janiga put up 17 points (10g-7a) in 34 games and chipped in another five points (4g-1a) in the playoffs. She was a key member of the Beauts 2017 Isobel Cup championship team with a league-high three goals in two games during that postseason. 

Related: Q & A with Emily Janiga (2017)

“I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to be a part of the Riveters organization next season and I cannot wait to get this thing started,” Janiga said in the press release announcing the signing. “The Riveters staff has been extremely welcoming during this process and I can’t thank them enough. I look forward to being part of an organization driven to grow the game of hockey.”

Emily Janiga Buffalo Beauts
Emily Janiga during her rookie NWHL season with the Buffalo Beauts (Photo Credit: Pat McCarthy).

The 26-year-old was originally drafted by Buffalo 16th overall in the 2015 NWHL Draft and will add experience and a scoring touch to the Riveters forward corps. In between her two seasons with the Beauts she also played for the CWHL’s Vanke Rays and recorded 14 points (8g-6a) over 28 games.

Offense Upgraded

“She is is a player who was very high on our list,” said Riveters Head Coach Ivo Mocek of the signing. “I’m very excited that we were able to get her to join us.”

“Emily is an offensive force and a great addition to the high-skilled forwards we already have signed for next season,” added Mocek. “She also brings a lot of experience from a very successful collegiate career and being a part of two great teams in Buffalo. Emily was a priority signing for us this off-season and we are very excited that she has joined the Riveters.”

Emily Janiga readies for a face-off during her time with the Mercyhurst Lakers (Ed Maillaird/HurstAthletics.com)

At Mercyhurst (2012-16) Janiga finished with 151 points (72g-79a) over 141 games and as a junior, she was the CHA scoring champion (45 points in 35 games) and was named the conference’s Player of the Year.

“Being heavily involved in youth hockey this past season, I understand the importance of visibility for the younger generation,” she added. “This is a great opportunity to give back to the sport I love and be a positive role model for the generations to come.”

Madison Packer
Madison Packer of the Metropolitan Riveters skates with the puck on the penalty kill. (Photo Credit: Bryan Johnson Photography)

Janiga is the 12th player signed by the Riveters this off-season. She joins goaltenders Tera Hofmann and Sonjia Shelly, defenders Rebecca Morse, Saroya Tinker, and Leila Kilduff, and forwards Madison Packer, Kendall Cornine, Cailey Hutchison, Mallory Rushton, Kate Leary, and Sammy Kolowrat.

MacDougall Makes Beauts Deeper

After a stellar collegiate career with the University of Alberta – 125 points (57g-67a) in 139 games – the Beauts were thrilled when MacDougall was available once they were on the clock with the 14th selection at the 2020 NWHL Draft. She set program records in both power-play goals (24) and game-winning goals (18).

Autumn MacDougall University of Alberta
Autumn MacDougall became the first player in NWHL history to be selected from a U Sports school when the Buffalo Beauts drafted her with the 14th pick of the 2020 draft (Photo Credit: University of Alberta Athletics).

“Autumn is a winner,” said Beauts head coach Pete Perram in the press release announcing the signing. “She comes from a winning program and was coached by one of the best in Howie Draper. She knows where the net is and has an intense passion for the game.”

MacDougall scored the game-winning goal for her team at the 2017 U Sports National Championship and won the Canada West Champion award in both 2019 and 2020. She also finished in the top-three among the U Sports scoring leaders during her final three seasons.

“I’m super excited that I have been given the opportunity to play in the NWHL, especially with such a great organization as the Buffalo Beauts,” said MacDougall, who hails from Nova Scotia. “I’m itching to get to Buffalo and get the season started!”

MacDougall is the ninth Beauts player signed for next season, joining defenders Lisa Chesson, Marie-Jo Pelletier, Whitney Dove, Dominique Kremer, and Lenka Čurmová, goaltender Carly Jackson, and forwards Taylor Accursi and Cassidy MacPherson.