2018 Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Honorable Mentions 2
Élizabeth Giguère, Savannah Harmon, and Miye D’Oench round out our honorable mentions
Because it’s ridiculously hard to name just 25 players under 25, we’ve included five honorable mentions this year. Here’s the final three. Follow along the rest of the list here.
HM: ÉLIZABETH GIGUÈRE; Clarkson University
Clarkson women’s hockey has established a reputation for recruiting and cultivating talented players. Élizabeth Giguère is no exception. The 21-year-old Quebec City native made her mark in her first NCAA season by scoring the overtime winner in the NCAA final — but her star has been on the rise for years.
Before joining the Golden Knights in 2017, Giguère spent three years playing for the Cégep Limoilou Titans in Quebec’s Hockey collégial féminin RSEQ. There, she dominated the league, drawing comparisons to Marie-Philip Poulin for her hockey IQ and offensive skill. Following a final championship season captaining the Titans in 2017, she was named the league’s Female Athlete of the Year and MVP.
Giguère picked up right where she left off upon joining the Clarkson Golden Knights for the 2017-2018 season. Her 71 points were second in the ECAC (behind teammate Loren Gabel, who had 75) and she led her conference in assists at 44. This astronomical point total rewrote the freshman record at Clarkson and nearly doubled the point total of all other ECAC freshmen. She scored six game winners over the course of the season, and scored four of Clarkson’s eight goals against Dartmouth in January. Her most memorable goal, however, clinched Clarkson’s third national title back in March.
Elizabeth Giguere scores in OT to give Clarkson its second straight NCAA title. pic.twitter.com/bj4n5nRxGe— Summertime and the Blinnin's Easy (@NHLBlinn) March 18, 2018
Giguère has also been a steady member of Hockey Canada’s deep development pool, playing on the Quebec U18 team in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and winning silver with the Canadian U18s in 2015. She was also invited to this year’s National Women’s Development Team camp with other standouts like Amy and Sarah Potomak, Daryl Watts, and Micah Zandee-Hart.
It is hard to imagine that Giguère will not continue to improve and make an impact on both the NCAA and international stage. She is just one member of an immensely talented group of young Canadian players, and it will be exciting to see how she will follow up her incredible freshman season.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
Giguère is one of the most dynamic and fun to watch players in college hockey right now. She’s also one of many young, talented forwards in the NCAA pool right now and still has three years of eligibility to hone and improve her talent. Her speed and skill are sure to put her even higher up on this list in the next few years.
HM: SAVANNAH HARMON; Buffalo Beauts
Savannah Harmon, an Illinois native and Clarkson graduate, should bring a necessary blue-line composure to the Buffalo Beauts as they seek to regain their position at the top of the NWHL.
Another Clarkson product, Harmon had a banner career in the NCAA, captaining the team to two consecutive championships. Her work on the blue line put her in the top 10 for the Patty Kazmaier Award – and for good reason. Harmon’s +54 led the country’s defenders and her 34 points were second in the country from defenders. While orchestrating the Golden Knights’ power play, she finished with nine points on the PP in her senior season. Harmon is only the second player in Clarkson’s history to finish with over 100 points, closing out her collegiate career with 113 points in 160 total games.
Harmon’s leadership at Clarkson ushered the team into a dynastic era, putting them on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the women’s collegiate hockey world. The NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts are likely hoping she will bring that same success to their team. Harmon was chosen sixth in the 2017 NWHL Draft, and attended free agent camp in the beginning of June. She was inked soon after, signing with the Beauts around the same time as blue-line legend Lisa Chesson. The Beauts have since built a star-studded roster, meaning that among other things Harmon could be playing in front of three-time Olympian Shannon Szabados on any given night.
3️⃣ Captains— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) June 14, 2018
3️⃣ Frozen Four Contenders
Defenseman, Savannah Harmon and forwards, Annika Zalewski and Julianna Iafallo will trade in their college colors for #BeautsBlue this season! Welcome to Buffalo! pic.twitter.com/Y0M11b7oQi
Before joining Buffalo, Harmon will play in the 2018 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival U-22 series against Canada alongside Olympians Cayla Barnes, Kali Flanagan Megan Keller, Kelly Pannek, and Maddie Rooney, as well as fellow NCAA standouts Caitrin Lonergan and Katie Burt.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
Without the chance to make an impact professionally just yet, at least an honorable mention is well-deserved. As a phenomenal puck-mover and steady blue-line presence, Harmon should bring a powerful energy to a stacked Buffalo Beauts roster, hopefully bringing her steady increase in points production and defensive prowess to the NWHL. If she performs nearly as well professionally as she did in the NCAA, she will be a centerpiece in helping the Beauts bring the Isobel Cup back to Buffalo.
HM: MIYE D’OENCH; Metro Riveters
Metropolitan Riveters forward Miye D’Oench is no doubt looking to come back swinging when the regular season rolls back around.
While playing at Harvard, D’Oench was one of just 24 players to reach 100 points. She averaged a little under a point per game in her four years there, finishing her college career with a solid +73 rating. Most notably, in her 2016 senior season, she dished a pair of assists in Harvard’s ECAC quarterfinal game against Colgate.
D’Oench has been a cornerstone of the Riveters since its second season, where she averaged a bit under a point per game — providing five goals and nine assists to a Riveters team that sometimes seemed to have trouble getting off the ground. Her numbers went up this past season, and she was on the path for a standout season before suffering an injury that kept her out of all but eleven games. However, upon her return, she roared back into the lineup, dishing two assists in the Isobel Playoffs — including on Alexa Gruschow’s Cup-winning goal.
We want to make sure everyone sees this incredible championship-winning goal by #AlexaTheGreat. pic.twitter.com/AlCk70xwKN— NWHL (@NWHL) March 26, 2018
Championship aside, D’Oench will undoubtedly be looking for a strong follow-up to a disappointing personal 2017-18 season. She re-signed with the team in late July, adding to a growing pool of forwards that includes Olympian Amanda Kessel and NWHL All-Star Rebecca Russo. After finishing a shortened season with more points than her full season the year before, provided she can remain healthy and on the ice, she should be on track for a banner season.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
It’s difficult to measure the strength of a player who missed over half of the regular season, but Miye D’Oench’s performance in the few games she did play shows she is steadily trending upward every time she steps on the ice. Had she been able to complete the full season, she would likely be higher on this list, and we should anticipate seeing her rise in the 2018-19 season.