MALTAIS, MÜLLER AND ZUMWINKLE VOTED PWHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

TORONTO AND NEW YORK (May 14, 2024) — The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) today announced that PWHL Toronto left wing Emma Maltais, PWHL Boston center/left wing Alina Müller and PWHL Minnesota right wing Grace Zumwinkle have been voted as the three finalists for the 2024 PWHL Rookie of the Year award.  

 

The PWHL Rookie of the Year award is given to the player who showcases the most outstanding ability throughout their first regular season of professional play. Players eligible for the Rookie of the Year award must be competing in their first season of professional hockey in North America and begin the season in their 25th birth year or younger. For the inaugural season, players born 1998 and later are eligible for the Rookie of the Year award. 

 

An 18-member selection committee cast their votes for six regular-season PWHL awards, including Rookie of the Year, during the gap between the regular season’s end and the playoffs’ beginning. The three players that received the most voting points have been named finalists. Winners of all PWHL Awards, presented by Woody Creek Distillers, will be announced in June. 

 

Details about each of the three finalists, listed in alphabetical order, can be found below: 

 

Emma Maltais, LW, PWHL Toronto 

 Maltais— born November 4, 1999— was Toronto’s second round selection, 11th overall, in the inaugural PWHL Draft. In her first professional season the 24-year-old tallied 19 points (4G, 15A) in 24 games played, tied for the scoring lead among rookies alongside fellow finalist Grace Zumwinkle. Her point output was good for seventh overall in league scoring, as she finished as one of just two rookies in the top-10 in league scoring. Maltais’ 15 assists were first among all rookies and tied for the overall league-lead in the category with Alex Carpenter (NY). Maltais was a key contributor to Toronto’s penalty kill— which finished first in the PWHL with a 91.8% success rate — as the forward was one of just two players (Zumwinkle) to finish with multiple shorthanded goals (2) on the season, including the first-ever ‘jailbreak’ tally on January 5 against New York. Her solid defensive play is reflected in her plus-minus rating of +7, placing her first among rookies alongside Alina Müller (BOS). Maltais, a graduate from Ohio State University, averaged more than 18 minutes a game on the season for a Toronto squad that finished first overall in the PWHL standings.  

 

Alina Müller, C/LW, PWHL Boston  

Müller — born March 12, 1998— was Boston’s first round selection, 3rd overall, in the inaugural PWHL Draft. In 24 games, Müller tallied 16 points (5G, 11A) and led her team in scoring, with only fellow finalists Maltais and Zumwinkle hitting the scoresheet more among rookies. She was one of just four first-year players to finish in the top-15 in league scoring, sitting tied for 13th at season’s end. Her defensive contributions are equally significant, boasting a commendable +7 rating, the best for a rookie, alongside Maltais. The graduate of Northeastern University was a stalwart in Boston’s forward lineup, averaging more than 20 minutes a game as a first-year player. With her team’s playoff hopes on the line, Müller provided a goal in each of Boston’s last two games, helping them clinch a postseason berth. Additionally, Müller was the first PWHL Boston player in history to tally three assists in a single game, reaching the mark on January 17 against Toronto.  

 

Grace Zumwinkle, RW, PWHL Minnesota 

 Zumwinkle—born April 23, 1999— was Minnesota’s third round selection in the inaugural PWHL Draft, chosen 13th overall. The University of Minnesota graduate played in all 24 regular season games for her team, averaging greater than 18 minutes per contest. Zumwinkle amassed 19 points (11G, 8A) on the season, leading her team offensively and placing her tied for first in rookie scoring alongside Emma Maltais. She tied for seventh in overall league scoring, as one of two rookies to finish top-10 in the category. Her offensive prowess is further highlighted by her finishing the regular season as the second-highest goal scorer in the PWHL with 11 goals, adding 98 shots on goal, which ranked second among all skaters, and first among rookies. She also finished second in the PWHL in game-winning goals with four, one behind the league-lead. Additionally, Zumwinkle showcased her versatility by tallying two powerplay goals, tied for first among rookies, two shorthanded tallies, sharing league-leading in the category alongside Maltais, and tied for first overall with three shootout goals. Notably, she recorded the first-ever PWHL hat trick on January 6 against Montréal. 

 

Visit thepwhl.com to purchase tickets and merchandise, and subscribe to the PWHL e-newsletter to receive the latest league updates. Follow the league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus all six team accounts @pwhl_boston, @pwhl_minnesota, @pwhl_montreal, @pwhl_newyork, @pwhl_ottawa, and @pwhl_toronto. 

 

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