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Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 24 - Sarah Potomak

Only 19 but her mind (and hockey skill) is older.

Sarah Potomak of the Minnesota Golden Gophers skates up the ice with the puck.
Sarah Potomak of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Michelle Jay

Sarah Potomak has already accomplished more at 19 than most hockey players hope to achieve in their lifetime. She’s currently a member of Canada’s centralization roster for the 2018 Olympics, along with her sister, Amy. Together they could be the first sisters to play together for Canada at the Olympics.

Potomak works like a checking line player, but has the speed and finish of an elite scorer. At 5-foot-5, she is never the biggest player on the ice, but she is always one of the smartest. Potomak’s ability to create turnovers with her intuition and quickness makes her a lethal forechecker. She also has a knack for scoring big goals.

Past accomplishments

In her first World Junior Championship, the Abbotsford native led the tournament in scoring with five goals and four assists in nine games. Her scoring touch in the tournament helped earn Canada its most recent gold medal at the World Juniors. The following year she wore a letter for her home country and put up nine more points in nine more games. The IIHF named Potomak the tournament’s best forward and Most Valuable Player.

After shining on the international stage Potomak took her talents to the University of Minnesota. Needless to say, she quickly became one of college hockey’s brightest stars.

As a freshman Potomak shared the team lead for assists with senior Hannah Brandt. She also led all NCAA Division I freshmen in assists and points, outscoring Boston College’s Makenna Newkirk by five points. Potomak’s amazing freshman campaign reached a different level in the NCAA Tournament. She scored the overtime game-winner in a 3-2 Frozen Four semifinal win over Wisconsin. And in the national championship game she picked up an assist on the game winning goal against Boston College.

In her sophomore year Potomak led the Golden Gophers in goals and finished second on the team in points behind Kelly Pannek. She was also the highest scoring sophomore in college hockey by a wide margin, putting up 53 points in 38 games. As a result Potomak was named a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist.

In that same season Potomak scored two goals and picked up an assist at the 2017 Worlds playing with Canada. She took home a silver medal as the youngest player on Team Canada’s roster. Potomak was just the second player from British Columbia to play at the Women’s Worlds.

Future impact

Potomak’s current focus is making Canada’s final roster for the 2018 Olympics. Despite her youth, she has already proven herself against the best players in the World. She is a must-watch player for Canada leading up to the Olympics.

"I've been given the opportunity to play in this one and I'm going to fight for it as much as I can," the teenager told The Globe and Mail in August. "I'm looking at is as I want it right now, not later down the road."

Potomak has the talent to be a staple of Canada’s women’s national team for the foreseeable future. She’s already made her mark on the senior team as a teenager. She has an opportunity to

Sarah Potomak celebrating one of her goals at the 2017 Women’s World Championships.
Michelle Jay

After Pyeongchang, Potomak is expected to pick up where she left off with the Golden Gophers. When her junior season begins at the University of Minnesota, she will be joining her sister Amy. Together, they have an opportunity to be one of the best sister duos in the history of women’s college hockey.

Is this ranking too high or too low?

There’s no doubt that Potomak belongs on this list. And she likely deserves a higher ranking because there are precious few hockey players who have accomplished as much as Potomak has at the age of 19, and even fewer who have her kind of potential.

Potomak has been exceptional at every level of hockey she has played. And her many accomplishments at the University of Minnesota and for Hockey Canada speak volumes about her talent. And she still has ample room and opportunity to grow and develop her game. Potomak’s future is as bright as it gets.