Loren Gabel has never been ranked in our Top 25 Under 25, and just missed out on last year’s Honorable Mentions. This year she shot up to number five on the list, and it’s no wonder when you look at her NCAA career and the impact she’s already had on Team Canada.
In her final season with the Clarkson Golden Knights, Gabel finished second overall in the NCAA in scoring with 69 points, behind only her teammate Élizabeth Giguère. She led the NCAA in goals scored with 40. She was also second overall in NCAA scoring in her junior season. Her dominant performance for Clarkson did not go unnoticed- she was a Patty Kazmaier finalist in her junior season and won the coveted award this spring. She holds Clarkson’s record for all-time goals (116) and points (213).
Gabel was a member of the 2016-17 ECAC Hockey Championship All-Tournament Team and the 2015-16 ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team. She was the 2017-18 ECAC Conference scoring champion and was named to the 2018 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. She eclipsed 200 career points in her final season with the Golden Knights.
She made her debut for Team Canada’s senior national team this past fall during the 2018 Four Nations Cup and scored her first goal for the team in a preliminary round game against the United States. She added an assist for two points in that tournament, then went on to rack up seven points (6G1A) in seven games during the 2019 World Championship.
If there’s one thing to know about Loren Gabel, it’s that her hockey IQ is off the charts. She knows where to be and when to be there, and that’s a large part of how she racked up so many goals over the last two years. She’s fast and easy to lose, and as soon as she’s left uncovered she’ll make the opposition pay. On any team that can consistently create chances around the net, she’ll no doubt be a major scorer.
But it’s not just her ability to predict and follow through plays that make her lethal. She also has soft hands and the confidence to pull off SportsCenter Top 10 moves:
In isolation, she has a truly wicked shot, and, given even a little bit of space, she can pick her spot every time.
She’s one of the many elite players currently a part of the PWHPA, sitting out this season in North America. While the PWHPA’s plans have not been officially announced or confirmed, they have expressed that PWHPA members will play at least in some capacity this season, and you can be sure that whatever form these competitions take, Gabel will be there, tearing it up.
Team Canada may be at a crossroads right now, but Gabel has proven over her first two competitions with the senior team that she’s going to be an integral part of the team moving forward. Even when the team was struggling, Gabel was finding ways to score, even against the toughest competition.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
Any Patty Kaz winner is, in my opinion, a no-brainer for a top five spot. That being said, Loren Gabel is not just a Patty Kaz winner. She’s a record-holding NCAA superstar who has already proven to be more than competent on the sport’s biggest stage. Fifth isn’t far off from where I would say she belongs, but in my opinion she’s a top-three under-25 talent, and at only 22 she has several years left to make it known.