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2018 Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | No. 25 - 23: Caitrin Lonergan & Laura Stacey; Kelly Pannek; Renata Fast

Don’t Pannek — numbers 25 through 23 are coming at you Fast.

We kick off our 2018 Top 25 Under 25 with a tie! Follow along the rest of the list here.

No. 25 (tie) - CAITRIN LONERGAN; Boston College

Michelle Jay

Past Accomplishments

After a lackluster freshman season at Boston College, this Massachusetts native truly began to stand out this past year. Lonergan’s accomplishments for the season include 75 overall points, two hatties, and eight game-winning goals. Additionally her 45 assists tied Alex Carpenter’s single-season school record. Despite BC’s loss to Ohio State at the NCAA Quarterfinals, Lonergan had a fantastic individual season.

Future Impact

Lonergan’s game has improved greatly this past year, and she still has plenty of time to continue to develop at BC. Now that several Olympians have returned to BC’s roster, Lonergan and the Eagles will be a formidable competitor for the NCAA national title in 2019. Finally, Lonergan was selected for the national U22 roster for this week’s series against Canada at Lake Placid and will no doubt be a contender for Team USA’s top line at the 2022 Winter Games.

Is this ranking too high or too low?

After her excellent 2017-18 season, Lonergan has definitely earned her place on this list. Despite being frequently overshadowed by teammate Daryl Watts, she is an excellent player in her own right and will be a powerful offensive force for Team USA in the future. If she continues to maintain similar numbers this upcoming season, she could certainly prove herself and move up the rankings of this list next year.

No. 25 (tie) - LAURA STACEY; Markham Thunder

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 10
Laura Stacey handles the puck at a Semifinals game against Russia at the Olympics this February.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Past Accomplishments

An Ontario native and Dartmouth graduate, Stacey has been a valuable forward for the Markham Thunder. After being selected third overall in the 2016 CWHL draft, she was chosen for the 2016-17 All Star roster and also was also named the league’s Rookie of the Year. Stacey then centralized for this year’s Olympics for Team Canada and made one assist during the tournament.

As winning silver at her Olympic debut wasn’t enough, Stacey also returned to Markham’s roster for the CWHL playoffs in March and scored the gorgeous overtime goal that won Markham their first Clarkson Cup.

Future Impact

Despite not drawing much attention to herself during this year’s Olympics, Stacey has a promising future in the CWHL. She will no doubt be a crucial part of Markham’s offense during her second full season in the league.

Is this ranking too high or too low?

This is a fair ranking based on Stacey’s past year. As she returns to the CWHL and re-finds her place on Markham’s roster, she has potential to become a major part of the team’s effort to defend their league title this year.

No. 24 - KELLY PANNEK; University of Minnesota

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 2
Kelly Pannek slides home at what was apparently an Olympic softball game against Finland.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Past Accomplishments

Pannek, a Minnesota native, joined the University of Minnesota roster in 2014 and was a major piece in the team’s efforts to win back-to-back NCAA national titles in 2015 and 2016. During her junior year she led the NCAA in assists and was a finalist for the Patty Kaz.

She then joined Team USA for the 2017 IIHF World Championship, where she was in the top ten for faceoffs with a win percentage of 64.91%. Pannek continued to shine at the Olympics this February with two assists during the tournament, including one on Monique Lamoureux-Morando’s goal that tied the gold medal game against Canada.

Future Impact

Pannek will rejoin the University of Minnesota Gophers for her final season of NCAA eligibility this year and will have a chance to compete for a potential third national title. The future beyond that is unclear, but any professional team would be grateful to have a solid forward like Pannek on their roster.

Is this ranking too high or too low?

As her college career draws to a close, it will be interesting to see where Pannek’s post-grad plans bring her. Pro leagues aside, Pannek definitely has a secure place within Team USA and her impressive showing at the Olympics made her a sure pick for this list.

No. 23 - RENATA FAST; Toronto Furies

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13
Hulk smash.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Past Accomplishments

Fast is a Hamilton, Ontario native who spent her college years playing for Clarkson, who won their first NCAA championship during her sophomore year. As a senior she also scored the fastest (ha) goal in NCAA Tournament history, 10 seconds into the Quarterfinal against Quinnipiac. After graduating she joined the Toronto Furies roster and was selected as a 2017 CWHL All-Star. She then donned the maple leaf in 2017 for the IIHF Worlds, then continued to play with Team Canada for the Olympics, where she was a reliable blueliner during the tournament.

Future Impact

Toronto’s disappointing season means that there is plenty room for improvement now that Fast and other players who centralized for the Olympics have returned to professional competition. The team will need to undergo some significant rebuilding to come back from last year’s slump, but Fast will no doubt be a valuable part of that effort.

Is this ranking too high or too low?

Fast’s Olympic debut kept her in the conversation for this year’s rankings. She’s by no means an offensive defender, but she certainly does her job and is a key part of the younger players that Team Canada is developing for its blue line.