The CWHL has announced its awards finalists ahead of this weekend's Clarkson Cup playoffs. The Brampton Thunder are well represented after they surprised many en route to their first playoff birth in three years. Natalie Spooner is the lone member of the Toronto Furies to be nominated.

Angela James Bowl

Marie-Philip Poulin (Les Canadiennes de Montreal)

Chairman’s Trophy (Regular Season Champions)

Les Canadiennes de Montreal

Rookie Of the Year

Player (team) GP G A P
Katia Clement-Heydra (Les Canadiennes de Montreal) 24 7 13 20
Rebecca Vint (Brampton Thunder) 24 19 7 26
Elana Lovell (Calgary Inferno) 24 14 12 26

Rebecca Vint secured a Rookie of the Year nomination after a very strong second half. She had an 11 game point streak to close out the regular season and has scored 13 points in her last 7 games. She was also just named player of the month for February, so she really finished out the season strong. Vint is joined by Elana Lovell and Katia Clement-Heydra.

Prediction: Vint, who is tied with Lovell for the rookie scoring lead. I think recency bias secures Vint the win. She's been one of Brampton's best players in the second half and has created a lot of offense on her own while centering the second line. Brampton didn't end up winning home-ice advantage but Vint's offense is one of the big reasons why the Thunder were in the hunt until the very last game.

Note: Poulin and Brianne Jenner, who were both drafted this summer, are not eligible for Rookie of the Year as they previously played in the CWHL before their college careers.


Player (team) GP G A P
Natalie Spooner (Toronto Furies) 22 17 13 30
Marie-Philip Poulin (Les Canadiennes de Montreal) 22 23 23 46
Laura Fortino (Brampton Thunder) 24 8 20 28

Natalie Spooner and Laura Fortino both got MVP nods. Spooner's been excellent on a team that's been starved for scoring this season. She had five goals and an assist in a win against the Inferno, a ridiculous performance. Laura Fortino's been great for the Thunder, too (more on her later, though). They're joined by Marie-Philip Poulin whose point totals really speak for themselves.

Prediction: Poulin. It's really not close. Spooner and Fortino had great years but Poulin has been on another level this entire season. She's simply been dominant.

CWHL Defender of the Year

Player (team) GP G A P
Laurianne Rougeau (Les Canadiennes de Montreal) 22 2 17 19
Julie Chu (Les Canadiennes de Montreal) 15 3 9 12
Laura Fortino (Brampton Thunder) 24 8 20 28

Laura Fortino gets another nod, this time for Defender of the Year. Brampton's offensive attack really depends on their mobile defence to drive play and Fortino's been in the driver's seat all season. She's joined by two Canadiennes, Laurianne Rougeau and Julie Chu. Montreal has been a juggernaut this season and are shot suppression beasts. They surrendered just 437 shots this season while Calgary has given up 555 shots. Brampton is down in third with 708 shots given up. Their blue-line has played a big part in that number.

Prediction: Fortino has been dynamite this season. Those point totals are nothing to sniff at. She leads defenders in scoring by a wide margin (the next highest scoring defender, defensive partner Courtney Birchard, has eight fewer points).

Goalie of the Year

Player (team) Wins Loses SV% Shutouts
Genevieve Lacasse (Boston Blades) 1 22 .904% 0
Charline Labonte (Les Canadiennes de Montreal) 17 2 .925% 5
Erica Howe (Brampton Thunder) 9 5 .915% 2

Brampton's starter, Erica Howe, is nominated for Goalie of the Year. She's backstopped Brampton in some big wins, including a shutout performance against Les Canadiennes--a game in which Brampton was heavily outplayed. She has some tough competition, though. Charline Labonte has been great in net for Montreal and she leads the league in SV%. She also tied the CWHL's shutout record. Genevieve Lacasse has had a tough season. Boston has not been great and Lacasse has been one of the lone bright spots, giving her team a chance to win on most nights. She also set the CWHL's single season save record...way back in December.

Prediction: Labonte. Lacasse makes for a compelling Goalie of the Year and Boston's struggles are certainly not her fault but I still lean Labonte on this one.