It’s a list dominated by Canadian and American players, but there are some fresh faces on this list of the top players from the 2022 women’s World Championship in Denmark. Youth speckle the list including teenager Caroline Harvey, tournament MVP Taylor Heise, and Canada’s budding superstar Sarah Fillier, who led her team in scoring en route to gold. Alongside the top ten, an emerging list of stars from bronze medal-winning Czechia and other developing women’s hockey nations also deserves recognition. Still, there’s only so much room in the top 10 -- literally.
Here is a look at the best players from the 2022 edition:
1. Taylor Heise, F (USA): It was her first ever World Championship and all Heise did was score more points than any player in over 30 years. Heise opened the tournament displaying deft playmaking skills, and as her confidence grew and she started shooting the puck more, Heise’s scoring touch overwhelmed opponents. Add to this Heise won 71.29 percent of her faceoffs, and you have an all-around dominant performance. Heise was deservedly named tournament MVP.
2. Sarah Fillier, F (CAN): Possibly the most dangerous shooter in the world right now, Fillier’s release and shot selection give opposing netminder nightmares. Still only 22 years old, Fillier continues to improve, and her role with Canada gets bigger at each event. She led Canada in scoring at the tournament with 11 points in seven games. As defenders keyed in on her, she showed herself to be a deft playmaker, drawing pressure to herself before dishing to her linemates. Fillier is a complete player and will be the key to Canada’s championship hopes for the next decade.
3. Amanda Kessel, F (USA): She developed instant chemistry with Heise and the duo were the most dangerous pair in the tournament. Kessel found the scoresheet in various ways, scoring a hat trick in the semifinals, and skillfully finding passing lanes to set up her teammates. A cornerstone on the power play, Kessel put up the best totals of her career at the tournament with 17 points in seven games.
4. Daniela Pejsova, D (CZE): Pejsova led all defenders in points with nine, which also gave her the Czechia team lead. She willingly jumped into the play and at times led the rush, all without giving unwanted chances in her zone. In the bronze medal game, Pejsova sprung in on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box to score, and logged over 25 minutes in ice; it was a typical game for this breakout star.
5. Marie Philip-Poulin, F (CAN): Captain clutch didn’t score in the gold medal game, as has become her calling card, but Poulin showed how well-rounded her game is and her ability to impact the outcome on or off the scoresheet. What fans will remember from Poulin’s tournament is likely not her 10 points but her final second face-first diving block of an American shot to preserve Canada’s 2-1 lead for gold.
6. Caroline Harvey, D (USA): Deservedly named a tournament all-star, the 19-year-old Harvey has yet to make her NCAA debut, yet already finds herself in elite company. Harvey was an offensive catalyst from the blueline manipulating her body and stick positioning and flashing her lateral mobility to open shooting lanes. On the defensive side, she drew top-line matchups throughout the tournament and did not blink. The world should take notice that Harvey’s blueline reign is underway.
7. Megan Keller, D USA: While Harvey’s name appeared on the tournament all-star team, it was Keller who far and away topped all American players in ice time. She was the cornerstone for the USA on the breakout and transition, winning puck battles in her zone, and contributing with nine points in seven games.
8. Jocelyn Larocque, D (CAN): Often overlooked in the face of Canada’s offensive stars, Larocque’s veteran presence, physicality, and shutdown ability were central in Canada’s gold medal repeat. Canada didn’t offensively eviscerate their opponents the same way USA did in the preliminary round, and when they struggled, it was Larocque providing consistency. She also chipped in six points showing Canada’s ice time leader is capable at both ends of the ice.
9. Kendall Coyne Schofield, F (USA): Calling it a “quiet” tournament for Coyne Schofield, who was fifth in scoring with 11 points in seven games would be an overstatement. Instead, as the captain she is, Coyne Schofield stepped into a support role for USA’s burgeoning stars Taylor Heise and Hannah Bilka up front. In the gold medal game, Coyne Schofield did everything but score. If not for a memorable performance by Canadian goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens, Coyne Schofield could have blown the gold medal game wide open.
10. Hannah Bilka, F (USA): Rounding out the large contingent of USA players in the top 10 is Bilka, who, along with Heise, was playing in her first World Championship. The 21-year-old speedster regularly froze opponents, created space with her quickness, and was one of the best shooters in the tournament. She finished third in scoring with twelve points.
Honorable Mentions: Nicole Hensley (USA), Klara Pejsova (Czechia), Akane Shiga (Japan), Hanna Olsson (Sweden), Petra Nieminen (Finland), Nelli Laitinen (Finland), Anni Keisala (Findland), Natalie Mlynkova (Czechia), Ella Shelton (Canada), Renata Fast (Canada), Alex Carpenter (USA), Dominika Laskova (Czechia), Elisa Holopainen (Finland), Haruka Toko (Japan), Tanja Eisenschmid (Germany), Ann-Renee Desbiens (Canada), Hilary Knight (USA), Sarah Potomak (Canada), Blayre Turnbull (Canada), Jenni Hiirikoski (Finland), Brianne Jenner (Canada), Maja Nylen Persson (Sweden).