In her second year on our list, Gabel inches her way closer to the top of this incredibly talented list. Last year she sat at No. 5 after a historic season that earned her the Patty Kazmaier Award. Since then, she has proved that that season was certainly not a fluke, and she can hack it in the big leagues (not that we had any doubts).
We summed up her college career in last year’s list which includes two NCAA championships with Clarkson University, a World Championship medal, a Patty Kazmaier Award, and set single-season points and goals records for Clarkson. She also became the first women’s college hockey player to score a goal in an overseas game which was heavily considered for her Tweet Trivia fun fact yesterday. She still holds the Clarkson records for goals and points with 116 and 213 respectively, though Elizabeth Giguere is hot on her tail after already claiming the assists record for herself.
As if that wasn’t enough, Gabel was an eighth overall draft pick in the NWHL, though opted to play her first professional season with the PWHPA. Headed into her second season with the PWHPA, she played in four showcases last year with at least 16 points in those showcases.
She also has been a powerhouse for Team Canada. Since her debut at the 2018 Four Nations Cup, she averaged a point per game during the 2019 World Championship, as well as earning three points in the most recent Rivalry Series against the United States who dominated the entire series, not leaving many chances for Gabel and Team Canada.
Loren Gabel is everything you want in an elite goal scoring hockey player. She is the classic cliche of going where the puck is going to be, not where it is. She’s fast, she’s smart, and she’s going to score even if you know it’s coming, and you do know it’s coming.
Obviously the future of sports is a bit of a mystery right now, but the PWHPA has promised more opportunities to play and a more elaborate set up that last year’s series of showcases. Gabel was already scoring at a ridiculously high rate in that organization against some of the world’s best, so I don’t anticipate that to stop with even more ice time and opportunities to practice and shine. She has already signed on for the second season, according to the organization on Twitter.
As far as her spot on the Canadian national team? I don’t think it’s going anywhere. She had an explosive Rivalry Series earlier this year and the end of last to really prove she can hang in with the older, Olympic gold winning squad that has made history for Team Canada so many times. That, and she can score big against the United States, which is always something they want.
Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?
It seems ridiculous to say it’s too low at a No. 3 spot, but it is. Knowing fully well the two players in front of her are equally deserving of their spots, somehow we need to manifest a way for Gabel to also move up higher in the rankings. Despite holding the records and awards she already does, I don’t think we’ve even seen her at her best which sounds crazy to say. She will soon be a name synonymous with Hockey Canada, if not already.