The Buffalo Beauts rounded out their 2016-17 roster on Sunday with the announcement that Emily Pfalzer, Shiann Darkangelo, Megan Bozek and Jordyn Burns will be joining the club this coming season.
Pfalzer, a standout and captain for the team last year, has agreed to a deal carrying a value of $22,000, a $1,000 raise over last season. Bozek’s deal will carry a $22,500 cap hit (same as last year), Darkangelo’s will be worth $21,000 (a $4,000 raise), and Burns, an incoming rookie, will be paid $13,500.
Pfalzer, a defenseman, scored two goals and 12 points in 17 games last season, as well as contributing a goal and four assists through five games in the Isobel Cup Playoffs. She was a significant presence for the team in the postseason as they moved past the Connecticut Whale to face the Boston Pride in the Isobel Cup Final.
Bozek, a part of the 2015-16 Beauts’ core group, scored three goals and 13 points in 16 games from the blue line last year. She also led the team in points during the postseason with three goals and six points in five games.
Darkangelo spent last season playing with the Whale, where she put up 10 goals and 13 points in 13 games. She added two assists in three postseason games before the Whale had their season ended by the Beauts. She showcased serious offensive talent last season and could be a big addition for the Beauts, who need big offensive performances from players like Darkangelo to compete with the superstar-laden Pride.
All three of those players are members of the U.S. National Team and won silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. All members of the National Team negotiate their contracts collectively, and the announcement of their deals on Sunday was a bit premature. There is currently only a commitment to sign with their respective teams, as they have not actually put ink to paper yet. The NWHL announced the pending deals to meet their self-imposed July 31 free agency deadline.
Burns is the only one of the final announcements for the Beauts who is not a National Team player. She played for the University of Minnesota from 2012-14, scoring four goals and nine points in 62 games. Prior to that she spent a season playing for Syracuse where she scored two goals and 10 points in 35 contests.
Burns joins the team to replace the departing Shelby Bram, who, the league announced Sunday, is not going to play this coming season, despite having signed a contract earlier in the summer. She has “chosen to pursue other opportunities,” according to the league’s release. She’s the second player that has signed a deal and then chose to not play this coming season because of other endeavors. Both departures were announced Sunday as those teams signed other players to replace that roster spot.
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.