It was a wonderful season for the National Women’s Hockey League, and things got capped off by the League announcing the Award Winners for excellence on the ice and in the community recently.
The 2020-21 winners are:
Mikyla Grant-Mentis of the Toronto Six is now one of the most decorated players in a single NWHL Season earning a record of four different accolades. Grant-Mentis is the first African American in league history to be named Most Valuable Player along with Newcomer of the Year. Mikyla is also one of six Foundation Award recipients and one of the Fans’ Three Stars of the Season
Grant-Mentis who hails from Brampton, Ontario was able to lead the Six to a regular-season title, tallying a league-high five goals in six games, while tying for the NWHL lead during Lake Placid competition with nine points.
Kaleigh Fratkin who was a part of the Isobel Cup Winning Boston Pride team, was named Defender of the Year for the second straight season. Fratkin is a six-year veteran with the NWHL hails from Burnaby, B.C. and is a graduate of Boston University. Fratkin was able to tie Grant-Mentis for the Lake Placid lead in scoring with nine assists in seven games, while also adding two assists in playoff action.
Amanda Leveille was named as the Goaltender of the Year, for the outstanding work in the cage with the Minnesota Whitecaps this season. Leveille also won the honors during the 2017-18 season as a member of the Buffalo Beauts.
Saroya Tinker of the Metropolitan Riveters was honored with the Denna Laing Award, which exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport. Tinker, who is a graduate of Yale University and hails from Oshawa, Ontario is the first African American player to be chosen for this award as she was able to tally one assist in three games as a rookie defender. Tinker has been a leader for the Riveters in their Social Justice campaigns, leading the fight against racism and making hockey a more inclusive space since joining the NWHL.
Tinker, Leveille and Grant-Mentis were honored with the Foundation Awards for actively applying the core values of hockey to their community as well as growing and improving hockey culture. Tinker is an active supporter of Black Girl Hockey Club and was able to raise over $30,000 to build a scholarship fund. Leveille gives back to hockey by being a goaltending instructor, and Grant-Mentis is a supporter of the Kidnetix Kids Association, which is a not-for-profit organization that networks with community members, organizations, and local businesses to provide opportunities for disadvantaged families in the Greater Toronto Area.
Mallory Souliotis (Boston Pride), Carly Jackson (Buffalo Beauts), and Grace Klienbach (Connecticut Whale) also received the Foundation Awards. Souliotis who hails from Action, MA, and a Yale University graduate donated her jersey and shirsey proceeds to the Epilepsy Foundation New England Foundation, and matched online donors to raise $654. Jackson, from Amherst, N.S. and a graduate of the University of Maine was highlighted by the Buffalo Beauts this season for her work with the youth hockey players, in addition to her support of those facing marginalization. Klienbach, from Eustis, FL, and Neumann University gives back by helping to develop good hockey players and people and teammates in her clinic named 14:94.
Jackson and Souliotis were also the top choices in an online vote by the Fans as the Three Stars of the season along with Grant-Mentis.
2021 NWHL AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Most Valuable Player:
Winner: Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Toronto Six)
Runner up: Christina Putigna (Boston Pride)
Defender of the Year:
Winner: Kaleigh Fratkin (Boston Pride)
Runner up: Shannon Doyle (Connecticut Whale)
Goaltender of the Year:
Winner: Amanda Leveille (Minnesota Whitecaps)
Runner up: Elaine Chuli (Toronto Six)
Newcomer of the Year:
Winner: Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Toronto Six)
Runner up: Carly Jackson (Buffalo Beauts)
Denna Laing Award:
Winner: Saroya Tinker (Metropolitan Riveters)
Runner up: Brooke Stacey (Buffalo Beauts)
Boston Pride: Mallory Souliotis
Buffalo Beauts: Carly Jackson
Connecticut Whale: Grace Klienbach
Metropolitan Riveters: Saroya Tinker
Minnesota Whitecaps: Amanda Leveille
Toronto Six: Mikyla Grant-Mentis
FANS THREE STARS:
Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Toronto Six)
Carly Jackson (Buffalo Beauts)
Mallory Souliotis (Boston Pride)
For more information on the NWHL fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: