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2022 Top 25 Under 25 | 21: Skylar Fontaine, 22: Anna Shokhina

A graduating defender and a longtime National Team player are up next.

21 | Skylar Fontaine | Defender | Northeastern

NCAA HOCKEY: MAR 18 Div I Women’s Frozen Four - Minnesota-Duluth v Northeastern Photo by Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last Season

Fontaine made her final season count, putting up her best numbers yet - seven goals with a whopping 41 assists for 48 points.

Of her seven goals, two were on the power play and four were game winning goals. Talk about a dangerous player on a stacked team. Her 41 assists led the entire nation, full stop, making her the first defender ever to do so. She also led Northeastern is assists and was second on the points.

Her performance this season launched her into the top spot in the Huskey’s record book as she finished her career as the career leader in assists and points for a defender, and was third in career assists overall. It was also good for the second most assists even in a single season.

Major Accomplishments

  • 2021 Patty Kazmaier Top-10 Finalist
  • 2021 NCAA All-Tournament Team
  • Two time Hockey East Top Defender
  • Leader in career assists and points for a defender at Northeastern
  • Third most career assists at Northeastern

What Comes Next

Fontaine finished her NCAA eligibility last year as it was her fifth season. She’s a Rhode Island native, and the world is her oyster. A proven playmaking blueliner would be a boon to any team in any league.

She deserves a better and longer look by Team USA too that’s for sure. I’ll be interested to see if she’s in the mix for the August World Championships tournament in Denmark, after being at the selection camp for the 2021 tournament. Team USA’s management of their defenders in Beijing was a major pain point, and she could be an asset.

Too High or Too Low?

Defenders are so hard to judge, even ones that put up major points like Fontaine. I’d say its maybe a bit too low. She could probably have cracked the high teens I think.

22 | Anna Shokhina | Forward | Tornado Dmitro | Russian National Team

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 1 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Last Season

The captain of Tornado Dmitro had another stellar season despite her team falling, again, just short of the championship. She averaged 2.44 points per game, a full .79 points per game above the next highest in the Russian League. Her 31 goals tied for the top in the league and were the best on her team, by double. Add in her 52 assists and she racked up 83 points, making this past season her highest scoring season yet.

With the National Team was a bit of a different story, however. Shokhina wasn’t named to the World Championships team, though we’ll never know if it was due to COVID or another reason. They could have used her fire power though, as they only scored four goals in the whole tournament.

She was on the Olympic team - Team ROC - in Beijing where she played the most minutes of any forward for Team ROC. The team was beleaguered with COVID during the tournament however (including the infamous game against Canada), so Shokhina’s low production numbers probably shouldn’t be fully looked at as a huge dip in her game. The whole team struggled, only scoring eight goals (with three coming from one player) in five games.

Major Accomplishments

  • Member of the Russian National Team for a decade
  • 3 time Olympian
  • Third all-time in career points for Russian National Team at Olympics (11)
  • Tied for third in all-time career goals at Olympics (5)
  • 3 Russian League Championships
  • Second in career assists and points in Russian League
  • Third in career goals in Russian League

What Comes Next

One can safely assume Shokhina heads back to Tornado Dmitro where she’s played her entire ZZHL career. She’s been the team’s captain for the last seven years.

I’d expect her to stay on Russia’s National Team as well, especially given their offensive woes. We’ll see how she does in August’s tournament in Denmark.

Too High or Too Low?

All in all, domestically, Shokhina had yet another standout season but internationally struggled. I’d say this ranking is maybe a little too high because of that.