Today, the Buffalo Beauts announced the signing of gold medalist Emily Pfalzer. The 2017 Isobel Cup Champion returns after spending the 2017-18 season in residency ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
“Emily arrives with championship experience both with the Beauts and with the United States national team,” General Manager Nik Fattey said in the league’s press release. “Her presence will help solidify our already strong defense and having a local player of her caliber return to our club will be invaluable to the team both on and off the ice.”
Pfalzer was the first captain of the Buffalo Beauts, she also captained the winning team at the inaugural NWHL All-Star Weekend hosted by the HarborCenter in January 2016.
Fellow Olympian Dani Cameranesi, who signed with Buffalo earlier in free agency, noted Pfalzer was one of the reason she chose to sign with Buffalo. “She’s a big reason as to why I decided to sign with Buffalo,” said Cameranesi in June. “[Pfalzer’s] obviously a native of Buffalo and played with the Beauts as well. I’ve heard so many great things....part of the mission of the NWHL is to grow women’s hockey, and from what I’ve heard and seen, what Buffalo has done is pretty incredible.”
On a media call shortly after signing, fellow Boston College alumna Blake Bolden also hinted Pfalzer was headed back to Buffalo. When asked by Beauts beat writer Nathaniel A. Oliver who she was most excited to play with for the upcoming season, Bolden responded, “I played with Emily Pfalzer at BC, I played with Corinne Buie — last year’s captain — [in] Boston. Those to players are amazing as you all know and I’m really excited to play on their team instead of against them (laughs).”
In two season with the Beauts, Pfalzer tallied four goals and 18 assists as a top defender in Buffalo. As Bolden mentioned, Buie wore the “C” for Buffalo last season. Will Pfalzer, the homegrown Olympian reclaim her leadership role? I suppose we will find out come October.
Letter or not, it is clear that Pfalzer already has the respect of her teammates old and new. She and the Beauts open up the season at Connecticut on Oct. 7.