BROOKLYN, NY, August 3, 2017 – Growing up in Lewiston, N.Y., Maddie Elia’s family made their home available each year to up-and-coming golfers participating in the Porter Cup – a tournament held at the nearby Niagara Falls Country Club. Among the future star golfers to stay at the Elia home were Bill Haas, Webb Simpson and current World No. 1 and Wayne Gretzky son-in-law, Dustin Johnson.
“I always brag to people about that time I gave up my room as a kid to Dustin Johnson,” said Maddie.
Today, Maddie Elia is a professional athlete herself. The Boston University star forward has signed a contract with her hometown Buffalo Beauts, the team that selected her 18th overall in the 2016 NWHL Draft.
“Being by drafted by the Beauts and signing with them is a huge honor and accomplishment,” said Elia, 22. “It’s super cool and exciting to be able to play for my hometown team because I love it here and it's such a great place to live. Playing college hockey in Boston, it was hard for my friends and family to make it to my games, so it’s awesome that they will be able to travel ten minutes to watch me play for the Beauts. Hopefully, there will be a lot of Elia Jerseys in the stands. I know that's what I'll be giving every family member and friend for Christmas.”
Elia becomes the seventh player selected in the 2016 NWHL Draft to join the league. She follows Kelsey Koelzer (first overall), Sydney Daniels (5th), Jenny Ryan (9th), Hayley Scamurra (10th), Paige Savage (15th) and Sydney Rossman (19th).
A 5-10 forward, Elia graduated Boston University this spring with a degree in Communications. In her senior season, she had 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points in 32 games and was selected to the Hockey East All-Academic Team. Over her four-year career at BU, Elia was 47-65-112 in 145 games.
"Maddie arrived at Boston University as a talented offensive player with size, reach and evasive stick skills, and she departed our program and enters the NWHL as a highly-competitive and well-rounded three-zone player,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “It was quite impressive to watch her develop into a complete player who matched up against the other team’s top line while scoring over 100 points in her college career."
Elia’s on-ice play was not her only contribution to the BU hockey team.
“During my time at BU, I always made the pregame warmup mixes and constantly was updating them throughout the year,” said Elia. “I love music. I always wanted to have the best pregame mix, so I would look at the other team warming up to see if they were dancing or bobbing their heads. I’d also compare their mixes to mine.”
While playing for the Beauts, Elia is working on the sales team at the Buffalo Marriott Harborcenter. Elia’s uncle, Jack Armstrong, is the color analyst on TSN’s Toronto Raptors broadcasts.
Additional remarks by Maddie Elia:
- “My expectations for my first season in the NWHL are to be the best team player I can be and to help the Beauts win hockey games by playing my style of hockey, which is being hard on the puck, strong in the defensive end, competing and making plays every single game. It’s exciting to be a part of team that has the chance to repeat as Isobel Cup champs.”
- “I'm really excited to be able to start my business career as well as follow my dream of playing professional hockey. [Beauts co-coach] Craig Muni was a big help in connecting me with the necessary people at the Marriott Harborcenter and I’m very appreciative that Coach was there for me.”
- “I loved BU. I had an awesome four years there. Coach Durocher and all the coaches there gave me the opportunity to develop as a hockey player, and I think I developed a lot especially in the defensive zone and in becoming an overall smarter hockey player. I also grew a lot as a person and made so many friends that I will have for the rest of my life.”
- “Up until high school I played for the Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles boys team. Playing against boys gave me my aggressive attitude and competitive edge. Since I played two years with checking, I was able to learn key aspects of the game, such as keeping my head up, playing quick, and being strong on the puck. It was an awesome experience and I believe it made me the player I am today.
- “In high school, I played girls’ hockey. I played for Nichols and also played for the Buffalo Bisons. Playing for both of those teams put me up against the best competition from around the country and that helped me develop as a player. It also gave me the exposure I needed to reach the Division 1 level.”
About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015 with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The first two winners of the Isobel Cup were the Pride (2016) and the Beauts (2017).
Contact Information: Chris Botta, NWHL – firstname.lastname@example.org