Last year in the CWHL was a tremendous opportunity for many players around the league. With the top players all with their respective National Teams for the Olympics roster spots and ice time became available that would normally be allotted to them.
This allowed some lesser known CWHL players to step up and become key contributors on their teams’. This has made decisions on final rosters much more difficult for general managers around the league when the Olympians return in the fall.
Here is a ranking of the top five CWHL players from the 2013-14 CWHL season. This list is based on point shares which is a calculation of how many points in the standings as player contributed to their team. Point Shares were developed by Justin Kubatko and more detail is provided at the Hockey-Reference website.
Glossary: GP – Games played, G – Goals, A – Assists, PTS – Points, PIM – Penalties in minutes, GC – Goals created, PS – Point Shares.
1 – Ann-Sophie Bettez
Montreal Stars, Forward
In two CWHL seasons Bettez has impressed with 73 points in 46 games. The 26 year old is making a name for herself as the heir apparent to the recently retired Meghan Agosta-Marciano as the best player in the CWHL. Bettez has also shown a knack for scoring clutch goals. Out of her 33 goals in the past two seasons 10, or 30%, have been game winning goals. The Stars will look for Bettez to lead the team in scoring once again during the 2014-15 CWHL season.
2 – Cathy Chartrand
Montreal Stars, Defender
Chartrand now age 33 has aged like a fine wine. She has not been a member of Canada’s National Women’s team since 2008 but has become an integral part of the Stars offense. She is perhaps the best defender in the CWHL today. Over the past two seasons she now has accumulated 50 points in 46 games from the blue line. She also has a plus 31 rating during that time, so it is clear that she is a solid all-around defender.
3 – Danielle Stone
Calgary Inferno, Forward
The 27 year old was very impressive in her rookie CWHL season. Her addition to the Inferno helped to lead them to their first Clarkson Cup Tournament appearance. The former Saskatchewan Huskies star is going to play a big role in advancing the Inferno to the next level and competing for the Clarkson Cup.
4 – Sarah Vaillancourt
Montreal Stars, Forward
Vaillancourt won her last Olympic gold medal in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games with Canada. Over the course of the past four CWHL seasons the now 29 year old has been a consistent contributor on the score sheet. During that time she has played 51 games while contributing 35 goals and 59 assists for 94 points. She continues to be one of the premier veteran scorers in the CWHL. Montreal will need her experience next season to make up for a disappointing finish outside of the Clarkson Cup Final this past season.
5 – Jillian Dempsey
Boston Blades, Forward
The 23 year old was Boston’s leading scorer during her rookie CWHL campaign. Unfortunately her inexperience showed somewhat in the Clarkson Cup which saw her contribute just one assist coming on the power play in four games. The Blades were essentially gutted by the USA Women’s National Team last season and Dempsey stepped up and helped to guide them to the Clarkson Cup final in spite of that. With a little more experience Dempsey should remain one of the preeminent scorers in the CWHL for some time.