The finalists have been selected for the 2018-19 NWHL Most Valuable Player Award. They are:
Jonna Curtis, Minnesota Whitecaps
Maddie Elia, Buffalo Beauts
Amanda Kessel, Metropolitan Riveters
Gigi Marvin, Boston Pride
Meeri Räisänen, Connecticut Whale
The MVP Award was voted on by a panel of 20 media members and broadcasters in cooperation with the Women’s Hockey Media Association.
Curtis exploded onto the scene in her rookie NWHL season, finishing tied for second in the league in points (8-11-19). She earned at least a point in 12 of the 16 games, including four multi-point performances, and was named VEDA NWHL Player of the Week in October after posting a five-point weekend in a sweep of the Riveters.
Elia led the NWHL in goals with 12 and finished with 19 points on the season. Appearing in all 16 games for Buffalo, she posted seven multi-point performances. In a midseason Beauts’ 4-0 win over the Whitecaps, Elia had a hand in all four goals, scoring two and assisting on the other two, earning VEDA NWHL Player of the Week for her efforts.
Kessel was a premier playmaker for the Riveters this season, leading the team with 17 points in 13 games, with 15 of those points coming as assists. She posted five assists in a 6-3 win over the Connecticut Whale on January 6, and had an early-season five-game point streak, racking up seven points in that span.
A veteran of the league, Marvin had another stellar season for the Pride, tying for the team lead with 10 goals. She finished with 16 points in 15 games, posting seven multi-point performances. She scored twice in four different games, including back-to-back games with two goals and an assist in February. Marvin was named VEDA NWHL Player of the Week after posting five points in a weekend sweep of the Pride in Minnesota, handing the Whitecaps their first losses of the season.
Räisänen stood tall in net for Connecticut, making 345 saves in 12 games with the Whale. She was named the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week after earning her first career victory in a 2-1 win over the Riveters. She also posted the first regular-season shutout in Whale history with a 4-0 blanking of the Riveters in Pittsburgh. In her 12 games, she posted seven 30-plus save performances.
Winners will be announced as part of the 2019 NWHL Awards in the week following the Isobel Cup Final.