Wisconsin forward and future star of Team USA Abby Roque didn’t even crack 2019’s Top 25 Under 25, but an incredibly strong senior season with the Badgers now sees her storming into ninth place on this year’s list. With her collegiate career behind her and a commitment to the PWHPA locking down the start of her professional career, let’s take a look at why Roque is so deserving of her spot in the coveted top ten.
Roque has quite the trophy case to her name, between her international play and collegiate experience.
Twice named to the American squad for the U18 Women’s World Championship, she totaled five points in ten games over the two tournaments and brought home a gold and silver medal before the age of eighteen. Though Roque got off to a somewhat slow start to her international career, there was nowhere for her to go but up — and she definitely exceeded expectations once she got to Wisconsin.
Roque was a star from the moment she stepped on the ice at LaBahn, finishing in the team’s top five in scoring as a freshman on a roster loaded with talent. She repeatedly led the Badgers in goals scored and points tallied, even making her way into the national top ten her senior year. While at Wisconsin, she played a crucial role in the team’s national championship win over Minnesota in 2019, and was poised to make a run for a repeat title before the postseason tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
Roque nails a backhander! pic.twitter.com/8rhui7UHCr— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) January 25, 2020
By her final game in red and white, Roque was ranked ninth in career points, eighth in game winning goals, and seventh in assists. Her outstanding senior year got her all the way to the final round of voting for the Patty Kazmaier Award and earned her the USCHO’s Player of the Year.
Named to the American roster for the since cancelled 2020 Women’s World Championship, Roque is sure to become a main stay on the American offense for years to come. Her goal per game scoring rate during the December half of the 2019-20 Rivalry Series is proof that she’s able to perform at the highest level against some of the world’s top stars, so it’s highly likely we’ll see her move into a top six role with Team USA in the imminent future.
Though she was noticeably omitted from the lineup for the November joint training camp, Roque’s impact with Team USA at the Rivalry Series undeniably puts her in good standing with the national program, and all but guarantees we’ll be seeing more of her in the red, white, and blue in the future.
Roque has opted to join the PWHPA next year, where she’ll be matched up with and against teammates from her past — including former Badgers teammates Annie Pankowski, Sarah Nurse, and Emily Clark, as well as most of her American squad. While it’s unsure what this next season of PWHPA action will bring as the women’s hockey schedule across North America is still tentative, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roque making a name for herself within the organization as the one to beat.
Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?
This ranking is just about right for a player like Roque, who has demonstrated so much offensive firepower during her collegiate career but has yet to get a real shot on the international stage. The 2020 World Championship would have been the first of her career, and there’s no doubt that Roque would have shown up and out in Halifax and Truro.
Nevertheless, when you look at her trophy case and her stats sheets from the past six years, there’s no question that Roque deserves a spot in our top ten.