BUFFALO – One of the most electrifying stars in women’s hockey today has returned to the team where she began her professional career. The Buffalo Beauts have announced that Mikyla “Buckey” Grant-Mentis – the reigning PHF Most Valuable Player – has signed as a free agent with the team on a 1-year deal. Grant- Mentis was a late-season addition to the Beauts during the 2019-20 season but has played the past two seasons as a member of the Toronto Six. During her time in Toronto, she has become one of the most dominating players in the PHF.
“Buffalo was the team to give me my first opportunity to play in the PHF,” said Grant-Mentis, “so choosing to make a professional change to the Buffalo Beauts at this point in my career is an excellent opportunity for me to fine-tune my skills and bring them to an entirely new level on and off the ice. I feel great pride joining a team with good history, a team where all members have mutual respect and value everyone’s contributions.”
Following her first entire professional season in 2020-21, Grant-Mentis became the most decorated player in PHF history for a single season. She was awarded the 2021 Most Valuable Player, Newcomer of the Year, Foundation Award, and Fans’ Three Stars awards after going 5-4-9 in six regular-season games during the pandemic-shortened Lake Placid season. Grant-Mentis followed that up by dominating much of the PHF during the recent 2021-22 season. She was among the league’s leaders in goals (13), assists (17), and points (30) during the regular season, and did so in only 19 games. Grant-Mentis finished the season as a solid +25 for plus/minus and averaged 1.58 points per game.
“The opportunity to add such an elite player like ‘Buckey’ rarely comes along in professional sports,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “We are extremely excited that she is returning to Buffalo and will be a Beaut once more. There aren’t many athletes who can take over a game the way that ‘Buckey’ can. She is just a tremendous hockey player who truly loves the game and plays it with a fiery passion. We feel very fortunate that she believes that the Beauts are the right fit for her.”
With 20 goals, 22 assists, and 42 points in 27 career PHF regular-season games, Grant-Mentis has averaged 1.56 points per game. Her penchant for scoring was something she had honed during her NCAA Division-1 career at Merrimack College. Grant-Mentis never scored less than 23 points in a season for the Warriors. She set career highs for assists (22) and points (34) during her junior 2018 -19 season. Grant-Mentis followed that up with a career-high of 20 goals in 33 games as a Merrimack senior in 2019-20. In total, she scored 117 points (56 goals and 61 assists) in 137 games with the Warriors and is the program’s all-time leading point scorer, all-time assists leader, and second all-time in goals.
Grant-Mentis would proceed to join the Beauts later in the 2019-20 season after her time with Merrimack and went 3-2-5 in three games for Buffalo (regular season and playoffs combined).
More than two seasons later, Grant-Mentis is poised to further blossom within Buffalo’s hockey community.
“My aspirations are the same as they’ve always been: to win and be a role model for young black hockey players who look like me,” she said. “On top of that, I want to be a part of Buffalo’s great hockey community.”