1. Taylor Heise, F (USA) – Heise immediately made herself known with the USA’s senior national team, helping set up five goals. She controlled the puck, showed patience, and effectively dished as her teammates entered open ice. An impressive debut for the 22-year-old. The tournament MVP at the U-18 World Championship in 2018, Heise is already showing her game can transfer to the next level.
2. Marie-Philip Poulin, F (CAN) – Canada’s top player against Finland, Poulin showed the trademark attributes that make her the best in the game. On the power play, she fed a shot-pass directly to Sarah Nurse’s tape for a tip to open the scoring, and then tallied the game-winning goal herself later in the first. Throughout the game, her patience in zone entries and ability to vary her own attack created chances. She still looks like she’s playing at a level above the competition.
3. Anni Keisala, G (FIN) – Facing 43 shots, things could have been much worse for the Finns against Canada without Keisela stepping into the net. Many questioned the Finnish direction when she replaced Noora Raty before the 2021 World Championship. Keisala answered by being named the tournament’s best goaltender and has continued her stellar play. She stopped several point blank chances by the Canadians, and slowed the pace for Finland when they repeatedly found themselves pinned in their own end. Despite the loss, Keisala is off to an excellent start.