Maddie Elia skating around defender. Photo by: Rich Gagnon
BROOKLYN, NY – 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: