10 finalists have been named for this year’s Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the top women’s college hockey player.
Here are this year’s finalists:
Skylar Fontaine, Defense, Northeastern
Aerin Frankel, Goalie, Northestern
Taylor Heise, Forward, Minnesota
Gabbie Hughes, Forward, Minnesota Duluth
Sophie Jaques, Defense, Ohio State
Alina Mueller, Forward, Northeastern
Casey O’Brien, Forward, Wisconsin
Theresa Schafzahl, Forward, Vermont
Daryl Watts, Forward, Wisconsin
This might be one of the deepest groups and hardest choices for this award in some time. The finalists include three former winners of the award: Aerin Frankel(2021), Elizabeth Giguere(2020), and Daryl Watts(2018), and yet while all three deserve strong consideration, none are likely considered favorites for the award.
In addition to the former winners, a convincing argument could be made for players like Taylor Heise, who leads the nation in scoring, Sophie Jaques, the nation’s leading defensive scorer, Theresa Schafzahl, who led Vermont to some unprecedented successes this year, or Gabbie Hughes, who joins the extremely rare club of being a finalist for both the Patty Kaz and Hockey Humanitarian Award in the same year.
It’s a strong list to choose from and voters will have to make some difficult decisions on their final ballot.