Today, the CWHL released the three finalists for the 2019 Rookie of the Year award: Calgary Inferno forward Rebecca Leslie, Markham Thunder forward Victoria Bach, and Toronto Furies forward Sarah Nurse.
Leslie had 26 points on the season. tying her for third on a deep and lethal Inferno team. She had eight multi-point games, including two two-goal games. Her 11 goals was tied for third among CWHL rookies this season and her +15 plus/minus led all rookie forwards. If Leslie wins the Rookie of the Year award this year, Calgary would have back-to-back ROY award winners.
Bach led all rookie skaters in goals (19) and points (32) in her first season with the Markham Thunder. The highly-skilled forward emerged as one of the CWHL’s most dangerous goal scorers this year. Bach led all rookies with five game-winning goals and finished tied Brianne Jenner for second in the league in total goals with 19 goals. She finished the season with 11 goals in her last 12 games to help secure the Thunder a spot in the playoffs.
Nurse made a huge impact on the Furies and helped them claw their way into the 2019 Clarkson Cup Playoffs after the club missed the postseason a year ago. Nurse scored 14 goals for Toronto and was a force of nature on the power play, where she piled up 10 points. From mid-November to mid-December she was arguably the most dangerous player in the league. She put up 16 points in the seven games she played in that window, which featured six multi-point performances.
The winner will be announced on March 22 during the Awards Show.
Past winners include Marie-Philip Poulin (2008, Montréal Stars), Laura Hosier (2009, Brampton Thunder), Danielle Blanchard (2010, Vaughan Flames), Sarah Vaillancourt (2011, Stars), Courtney Birchard (2012, Thunder), Ann-Sophie Bettez (2013, Stars), Jillian Dempsey (2014, Boston Blades), Brianna Decker (2015, Blades), Elana Lovell (2016, Calgary Inferno), Laura Stacey (2017, Thunder), and Sophie Shirley (2018, Inferno).