Megan Bozek is returning to the CWHL -- just not to the team that some suspected she might.

This afternoon the Markham Thunder announced that they had acquired the 26 year old free agent.

“I am very excited to get on the ice with the Thunder! When you are given a situation that is unexpected, you feel disappointed, discouraged, angry, sad, mad, and everything in between,” said Bozek. “But getting the chance to play in Markham with a great group of talented players – a handful that I have played with or against for years – is exciting! They bring energy and grit to every game, and I am looking forward to joining them on the run for the playoffs!”

Bozek was the second overall pick in the 2014 draft. She scored three goals and seven assists in 22 games with the Toronto Furies in the 2014-15 season.  She then spent two seasons with the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts, helping them win the 2017 Isobel Cup. She will join former Beauts Lindsay Grigg and Devon Skeats on the Thunder.

Interestingly, a number of Thunder players, including Jess Jones, who tied with Marie-Philip Poulin for the 2016-17 Angela James Bowl (awarded to the league’s top scorer) signed with the Beauts this off-season.

Markham is generally known as a strong defensive team, something that they have generally managed to maintain despite losing defenders Laura Fortino and Jocelyn Laroque to centralization. Where Bozek is expected to be the most help will be on the scoreboard. Since the loss of Jones the Thunder have been leaning heavily on Jamie Lee Rattray for scoring this season. With 22 points in 18 games Rattray is  tied for second in league scoring. Her total is double that of Kristen Richards, the next highest scorer on the Thunder and over triple that of Kristen Barbara, their top scoring defender. Rattray will no doubt welcome some more assistance.

While this acquisition is definitely a win for Thunder GM Chelsea Purcell in particular, Bozek’s signing is a great sign for the league as a whole. Further, it fuels the hope that Alex Carpenter, also left off the 2018 US Olympic roster, may soon make an appearance on the ice with Kunlun Red Star, who drafted her this summer.

Markham’s next games are at home this weekend against the Vanke Rays, a rematch of last Saturday’s contest. Tickets are $15 at the door or online. Saturday’s game will also be streamed live online through the CWHL website at 7:30 pm.