2020 Top 25 Under 25 | Honorable Mentions 2: Alexie Guay, Skylar Fontaine, Lindsay Browning

The second set of honorable mentions are all still NCAA players.

Today, we round out our 2020 Top 25 Under 25 honorable mentions with the final three players. Depending on how the NCAA season shakes out, fans will be able to watch all of them in college hockey action in 2020-21.

Honorable Mention | Alexie Guay
Gabriella Fundaro

Guay is fresh off her rookie season at Boston College, where she immediately stepped in as one of the team’s top defenders.

Past Accomplishments

Before coming to BC, Guay was an alternate captain on Canada’s 2019 Under-18 Team, helping the team capture a gold medal. This past season at Boston College, she immediately slotted in as one of the Eagles’ most productive players at all positions, finishing fifth on the team in scoring. She was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after finishing third nationally in rookie defender scoring with 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists).

Future Impact

Last month, I named Guay one of the 3 players to watch for Team Canada down the line, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock to say that I think she has a bright future on the blue line for the senior national team. Her skating abilities and offensive instincts make her an extremely good player already, with an even higher ceiling to hit down the road.

Guay was a notable bright spot for BC this year, and it’s clear she was relied on to a pretty significant extent for a first-year D. According to Pick224, she had the second-highest eTOI of any D in NCAA Division I in the 2019-20 season, at 28.97. She was on the ice for 52 even-strength goals, the most of any rookie in the country and second among all defenders. These are pretty massive contributions to be making at the NCAA level already; I think she’ll continue to grow and make more of an impact as a highly capable offensive D.

Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?

Guay was an honorable mention on our 2018 list, but slipped off the rankings last year. I’m not surprised at all to see her warrant an honorable mention again after a strong freshman season with the Eagles. She may have flown a bit under the radar, but I’m confident we’ll see her climb these rankings as she keeps building on her rookie NCAA season.

Honorable Mention | Skylar Fontaine
Gabriella Fundaro

After a breakout sophomore season in 2018-19, Fontaine cemented her title as one of the best defenders in the NCAA in 2019-20.

Past Accomplishments

Fontaine’s contributions to Northeastern’s defense corps earned her a spot on the 2019-20 Second Team All-America for the second season in a row. She was named Hockey East’s Best Defender and finished second in the country in scoring by a D with 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists). Other honors for this past year include: Hockey East First Team All-Star, Hockey East All-Tournament Team, Second Team All-USCHO, and NEWHA Division I All-Star.

Future Impact

Fontaine has pretty clearly emerged as a true No. 1 D who excels by generating opportunities and controlling the puck. For as much firepower as they have up front, Northeastern’s high-flying offense would not be what it is without active players driving possession from the back-end, and Fontaine leads that charge. She can create things in transition when she carries the puck up; she’s really good at getting pucks through either on net or for teammates to deflect; and, if we want to get technical about it, she hits dingers.

Take a look at #22 in the video below for a peak at what she can do in the offensive zone:

She also brings a well-rounded defensive game to the table. Fontaine is pretty firmly in the USA Hockey mix already, too, after suiting up for the U.S Under-22 squad last summer and then getting an invite to USA Hockey’s Winter Festival. She’s going to continue getting looks with the national team and I think she has the potential to play for the senior team long-term.

Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?

This is a little low for me, because I see Fontaine as one of the brightest D prospects in the game. This is the first time Fontaine has been included in the T25U25, though, and with two All-American seasons already under her belt, I’m sure she’ll continue rising up these rankings as she continues to dominate.

2020 Top 25 Under 25 | The List

Honorable Mention | Lindsay Browning
Michelle Jay

Lindsay Browning makes her first appearance on our list following her junior year at Cornell. She’s set to return for her senior season, where she’ll be an assistant captain.

Past Accomplishments

Browning burst onto the scene this season after spending her first two years at Cornell as a backup. The 2019-20 season was her first time seeing any significant playing time, jumping from four games in net as a freshman to six as a sophomore to 33 last season.

She broke records throughout the whole season, kicking it off with three straight shutouts. She blanked her opponents nine more times for a Cornell-record 12 shutouts on the season. Her 28 wins also put her in the record books for single season wins, as did her .952 save percentage. Only one goaltender in the nation had a better percentage. She finished with a .910 GAA, good for first in the nation.

The accolades piled up after the season was over too: Patty Kazmaier Top-10 Finalist, ECAC Goaltender of the Year, Ivy League Player of the Year, Second-Team All American.

Future Impact

Browning still has a season of eligibility left at Cornell. For the Ivy League school, we know they won’t start until at least Jan. 1, 2021. Who knows if they’ll play or what it will even look like, or how it will impact Browning’s future as she’s also a Marine ROTC cadet.

Given all of that, it’s tough to say what her future impact will be. I’ll leave it at “good for Cornell, bad for the rest of the ECAC.”

Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?

I think this ranking is just right. She shined bright in her first full season as a starting goaltender, but beyond that doesn’t have much of a history to push her up.