Breaking down the Patty Kazmaier finalists

The top ten candidates for the highest individual honor in the NCAA have been released

Earlier today the NCAA announced the 10 finalists named for the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award. The award is given annually to the top player in Division 1 NCAA. The initial list is compiled by polling coaches across the country, and then any players named multiple times are put on a ballot. The results of that ballot are used to name a top 10.

The Top 10 Finalists

Victoria BachBoston UniversityFSenior
Sydney BaldwinMinnesotaDSenior
Kristen CampbellWisconsinGSophomore
Loren GabelClarksonFJunior
Savannah HarmonClarksonDSenior
Brittany HowardRobert MorrisFSenior
Caitrin LonerganBoston CollegeFSophomore
Toni Ann MianoBoston CollegeDSenior
Shea TileyClarksonGSenior
Daryl WattsBoston CollegeFFreshman

This list will eventually be brought down to three finalists, and of those three only one will win a prestigious award and share a title that has been won in recent years by Ann-Renée Desbiens, Kendall Coyne, and Alex Carpenter.

Top Dogs and Dark Horses

As it stands, there are some clear cut favorites and some definite dark horses.

The obvious name on everyone’s mind is Daryl Watts, who does ridiculous things with the puck week in and week out. The Boston College freshman has been a dynamic threat since this regular season started and leads the nation in scoring. If she doesn’t make the final three something fishy is afoot.

Victoria Bach also has to be in strong consideration for a finalist spot. The Boston University offense has run through her and their success starting in November coincided with her goal streak. Watts is probably in contention for the “Best Player on the Best Team” style of MVP award, but Bach has really been the catalyst for the Terriers getting out of the gutters of Hockey East.

The CHA does not get a whole lot of love, but it is good to see Brittany Howard get on this list. She definitely qualifies as a dark horse candidate, but she is without a doubt the best player in that conference. Howard is also capable of doing damage both with and without the puck, and could find her way into the final three.

Interestingly, the other dark horse candidate here is probably Toni Ann Miano. Miano was thrust into a top pair role when half of the Eagle’s defense left for centralization with Team USA. She has been every bit as good as you can hope. She even has a Beanpot game winning goal in overtime under her belt.

It’s a tough season for western candidates, as only two candidates play for WCHA teams: Sydney Baldwin for Minnesota and Kristen Campbell for Wisconsin. Campbell has taken over the role of last year’s Patty Kaz winner and has probably been the best goaltender in the country. She’s not too far off from Shea Tiley from Clarkson, but the award very rarely goes to goaltenders. Baldwin has very similar numbers to Savannah Harmon as well, and between the four aforementioned players you will definitely see votes split based on geography.

The top-three finalists will be announced on March 1.