Beauts Ink Top Draft Selection Emilie Harley
BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts announced today that their 1st round selection in the 2021 NWHL Draft has signed a contract with the team. Defender/forward Emilie Harley will suit up for the Beauts in the upcoming 2021-22 season following a highly successful college career at Robert Morris University. The Beauts selected her with the second overall pick in the draft.
"As a female athlete, just to be a part of a draft at all is pretty special so I’m really thankful that the NWHL and the Beauts gave me that opportunity,” said Harley. “I’m honored to be the Beauts first selection in the draft. It makes me feel like the coaches and the GM have the confidence in me to play a big role for the team. Out of all the eligible picks, the fact that Buffalo chose me just validates my goal to play at the highest level possible and makes me feel like all my hard work has paid off."
A native of Syracuse, New York, Harley played 130 NCAA games for the RMU Colonials. Across that time she scored 10 goals, 36 assists and 46 points. Four of Harley’s 10 career goals came on the power play. Showcasing her leadership abilities, she wore an “A” on her jersey during her 2020-21 senior season. Known primarily as a defender during her time for RMU, Harley also has experience at center.
"Emilie checks all of the boxes for us,'' said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “ She has awesome reach with the puck given her 6-foot frame, and she controls it very well once it’s on her stick. She skates strong and powerfully, and is confident in her stride. We love Emilie’s professionalism and her character. We knew going into the draft that we were getting a great hockey player who is also a top notch person. I think you’ll see her become a great ambassador for our game at the professional level. A player of her caliber and persona rarely comes along.”
Harley was a decorated player even before and during her collegiate career. She is a 2-time member of the USA U18 Development Camp in 2015 and 2016. Harley was a 2017 MVP for the Ontario Hockey Academy. As a sophomore at RMU she was named co-Student-Athlete of the Year in the CHA for posting a 4.0 GPA as a biology major. Harley was selected to the College Hockey for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative - a group comprising players, coaches and administrators from men’s and women’s college hockey across the country working to promote cultural change throughout the sport.
“As a defenseman I think I see the ice really well and distributing the puck is one of my best skills,” said Harley,” so hopefully that will give us more time in the offensive zone. I’m a solid defensive player and my height gives me an advantage to keep my opponent away from our net which is my main goal. My experience as a forward also gives me the confidence to make plays or skate with the puck to try and score."