2016 NWHL Awards Announced, Decker Named MVP

The inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has concluded with the announcement of the 2016 NWHL Awards on Sunday. The announcements were made from Durham, New Hampshire, where the 2016 Women’s Frozen Four was taking place.

Here are the winners of the 2016 NWHL Awards.


Brianna Decker, Boston Pride

The four finalists for the award were Decker, Hilary Knight of the Boston Pride, Emily Pfalzer of the Buffalo Beats and Kelley Steadman of the Beauts.

Regular Season Champions:

Boston Pride

NWHL Foundation Award:

Denna Laing, Boston Pride

The Foundation Award is given to “the player most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community as well as growing and improving hockey culture.” The other nominees included the New York Riveters’ Jenny Scrivens, the Beauts’ Tatiana Rafter and the Connecticut Whale’s Anya Battaglino

Leading Scorer:

Hilary Knight

Perseverance Award:

Denna Laing, Boston Pride

The Perseverance Award is “awarded to the player who most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport.” The other nominees included Meghan Duggan of the Beauts, Kelley Steadman of the Beauts and Battaglino of the Whale

NWHL Best Defenseman:

Gigi Marvin, Boston Pride

NWHL Best Goaltender:

Brittany Ott, Boston Pride

That makes it a complete sweep for the Isobel Cup-champion Boston Pride, winning in every category. We may need a Best Player Not on the Pride category for next season.

Voting Process

The Regular Season Champion and Leading Scorer awards are dictated by statistics and determined in advance. The NWHL Player’s Association (NWHLPA) votes on the League MVP. Additionally the NWHLPA determines the ballot for the Foundation Award, which is then put to a fan vote online.

The remaining three awards — Perseverance Award, Best Defenseman, Best Goaltender — are voted on by the NWHL Writers Group, a group of 50 journalists covering the league, including myself.

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