Photo By Matthew Raney Photography
Hayley Scamurra was one of the breakout stars of season 3 of the NWHL. Possessing the rare combination of power and finesse, the former star at Northeastern and current Buffalo Beaut was co-MVP (with Kelsey Koelzer) of the All-Star Game in Minnesota, a member of Team NWHL, voted by the media as the 2017-18 NWHL Rookie of the Year, and selected by the fans as one of the Three Stars of the Season.
Not bad for a first full pro season.
Anyone who has watched Scamurra closely at Northeastern, and now as her talents continue to soar in the NWHL, believes she deserves a look from the U.S. national team program. Among her biggest advocates are her coaches in Buffalo, former longtime NHL players Ric Seiling and Craig Muni.
“We've been screaming from the mountaintops to anyone who will listen that Hayley deserves national team recognition,” said Muni. “Our hope is that USA Hockey closely scouts the NWHL and views our league as a feeder system to the next level. There are many deserving players, including Hayley.”
To Scamurra’s credit, while her dream would be to play for club and country as fellow Beaut Emily Pfalzer has, she is focused first on the team she’s proud to represent.
“Getting the opportunity to be considered by USA Hockey has definitely been a goal of mine since my college career started, but I try to stay focused on my game and improving myself and the team that I'm playing for,” said Scamurra. “If I’m ever invited to a national team camp tryout, I would be honored and humbled.”
In the meantime, Scamurra, a native of nearby Williamsville, is excited for the 2018-19 season in Buffalo, where the Beauts were purchased last year by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the parent company that also owns the Buffalo Sabres, Bills, Bandits and Rochester Americans. Scamurra first joined the team right after her collegiate career ended (she was 39-72-111 in 123 games at Northeastern), playing a pivotal role in the Beauts’ Isobel Cup run in 2017.
“Hayley’s one of the most dedicated individuals you will ever know,” said Seiling. “This is a person that every coach wants on their team. She is a true professional hockey player and we are so happy to have her in a Beauts uniform. If she was in any other, I don’t know if we could defend against her.”
Believe it or not, a geographical change for Scamurra means there’s a good chance she will be even better this upcoming season.
“This year I will be living in Buffalo for the whole season and not commuting from Boston for the first half, so I'm excited to build that chemistry from the very beginning,” she said. “I'm looking forward to starting up practices and games with my teammates again.”
In an effort to raise her game another level, Scamurra is playing in a summer league and training with several of the Beauts in the Buffalo community.
“I could improve on my skating speed and stick handling,” she said. “There's always room for improvement in the game and I think I had a good year because of the players around me. Our team's chemistry fostered skill throughout the lineup. That’s why our points among the team were evenly distributed.”