At the CWHL Awards tonight, Jamie Lee Rattray of the Markham Thunder won the Jayna Hefford Award (MVP as voted by the CWHL’s players). On hand to present the trophy was a fellow pro player from the GTA—the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Connor Carrick. He was there as a representative of the NHLPA, who were a presenting sponsor of the night’s awards, and of the Jayna Hefford Trophy specifically.
Congratulations @ratt26 on your personal achievements, as well as to the other award winners. I wish your team, and the @TheCWHL success this coming Sunday at Ricoh. Honored to be a part of the event this evening. https://t.co/TwIkqLQUxP— Connor Carrick (@connorcarrick) March 24, 2018
Yes, @ratt26 - this makes me really happy! Congratulations on an amazing year. Good luck Sunday! Go @ThunderCWHL https://t.co/j0mrh7Sqt4— Jayna Hefford (@J16H) March 24, 2018
A former Canadian national team player and NCAA champion with the Clarkson Golden Knights, Rattray had a spectacular season this year for the Thunder. She finished the year fourth in league scoring with 39 points, and was unquestionably the cornerstone of Markham’s offense. While the signing of Megan Bozek and Markham’s three returning Olympians have been the most important additions as Markham heads into the Clarkson Cup final, it’s Rattray’s consistent scoring over the year that placed them in a position to outmuscle the Vanke Rays for the final playoff spot in the season’s last weeks.
.@ratt26’s acceptance speech for the @J16H Trophy, presented by the @NHLPA pic.twitter.com/rcoHiZjCn2— Markham Thunder HC (@ThunderCWHL) March 24, 2018
Rattray wasn’t the only GTA player nominated for an award. Erica Howe, who was nominated for Top Goaltender (won by Noora Räty of Kunlun Red Star) has spent most of the year platooning with Liz Knox, before taking over Markham’s crease for herself in the playoffs. Howe posted a .930 sv% this season, good for second in the CWHL, and came in third with a 2.18 GAA. Toronto’s Brittany Zuback earned a Rookie Of The Year nomination (won by the Calgary Inferno’s Sophie Shirley) with her solid play down the stretch, despite the Furies missing the postseason. She also scored one of the prettiest goals the CWHL saw this season:
#GottaSeeIt: @TorontoCWHL's @brittzubes19 undresses the @ThunderCWHL defender to score a great backhand goal.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 3, 2018
Watch the game on Sportsnet and https://t.co/vMsgyEObl1. pic.twitter.com/0gpYxZn60L
While it took her a while to get going, she scored nine points in the final two months of the season for a total of 13 in the year. Toronto’s first-year head coach Jeff Flanagan was also up for Coach of the Year (won by Calgary’s Thomas Pacina).
As a member of the Markham Thunder, Rattray’s season isn’t over yet. She and her team will be playing in the Clarkson Cup Final at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday at noon, facing off against Kunlun Red Star. While Rattray was also nominated for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, she lost to Kunlun Red Star’s Kelli Stack, and this game should be a doozy. It’s being broadcast on Sportsnet if you can’t make it to Ricoh.