Gophers’ forward Heise named finalist for 2022 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award

A senior forward for the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team has been named a finalist for a prestigious award.

Assistant captain Taylor Heise was named one of the 10 finalists for the 2022 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which is presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey, the USA Hockey Foundation announced Thursday.

The Gophers have now had 35 honorees among the award finalists since the award’s inception in 1998. Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle finished in the top three last year for the award while two Gophers have won it: Krissy Wendell in 2005 and Amanda Kessel in 2013.

Heise, a Lake City native, led the nation in scoring during the regular season with 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 34 games. She also became the first Gopher to win WCHA Forward of the Month three times in a season since the award debuted in 2016-17, and she was recently named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Year and WCHA Player of the Year.

“Taylor has been dominant all season long,” Gophers head coach Brad Frost said. “From day one this year, she has been on a mission. It has been great to see Taylor, her line, and our team have tremendous success this season. In a league like the WCHA, with so many incredible players, it is an incredible honor for Taylor to be chosen as the WCHA Player of the Year.”

The top three finalists are set to be announced on March 17 with the award presentation scheduled for March 26.