Taylor Heise had a season for the record books in 2021-22. She led the nation in scoring, was named the WCHA Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American. On Saturday the Minnesota Gophers senior added another honor—the 2022 winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the best player in women’s college hockey. She becomes just one of three Gophers to have taken home the honor in the 24 seasons it has been given out.
Heise was a power on offense for Minnesota this season and one of the main reasons the Gophers won their first WCHA Regular season title in three seasons. Heise was the first Minnesota WCHA scoring champion since Nicole Schammel in 2018-19. She led the nation in the regular season with 60 points and 28 goals and led the WCHA with 46 points and 18 goals in 24 conference games.
Heise was a full all around player for Minnesota playing shifts on both the power play and penalty kill. Her five shorthanded goals were the most in the nation and were the third most in Gopher history. She would set career highs in 2021-22 in points (64), goals (28), plus/minus rating (+42), shots (213), short-handed goals (5), and game-winning goals (6).
She now has 160 career points (67g-93a) in 134 career games. She ranks 14th in program history in points, fifth in career shots on goal (624), and is tied for eighth in short-handed goals (5). She is expected to return for her fifth season next fall as well and will try and match Harvard’s Jennifer Botterill as the only two-time winner of the award.
Heise joins Krissy Wendell in 2005 and Amanda Kessel in 2013 as the only other Gopher winners of the award. She and Wendell are the only Minnesota natives to ever win the award. She defeated fellow WCHA nominees Gabbie Hughes of UMD and Sophie Jacques of Ohio State in the voting.
“We are absolutely thrilled for Taylor, her family, teammates and our program,” said Minnesota head coach Brad Frost. “She had a year that we will all remember and is very deserving of the Patty Kazmaier award. Taylor embodies what Patty was all about and we are so happy for her. To add her name to the likes of Wendell and Kessel, as past winners from the University of Minnesota, speaks volumes to the season that Taylor had.”
“I am beyond honored to receive such a prestigious award that means so much to women’s hockey,” said Heise. “I would like to thank my current coaches and teammates for always supporting me and making all my years at the University of Minnesota, especially this year, so amazing. To have my name put alongside so many talented women is an absolute honor.”
Congrats to Taylor on a historic season and one that will forever be remembered in Gopher hockey history