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Lake City's Heise named WCHA Preseason Player of the Year

Lake City native and current University of Minnesota hockey star Taylor Heise has been named the Preseason Player of the Year in the WCHA for the 2022-23 season. Heise helped the U.S. win the silver medal earlier this month at the IIHF Women's World Championships in Denmark.

Taylor.Heise
Lake City native and former Red Wing High School girls hockey standout Taylor Heise, a senior forward for the University of Minnesota, has been named the 2022-23 WCHA Preseason Player of the Year. Heise is also the reigning Patty Kazmaier Award winner, an award that is given annually to the top player in women's college hockey.
Contributed / University of Minnesota athletics
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MINNEAPOLIS — The awards keep coming for Taylor Heise and the college hockey season hasn’t even started yet.

The Lake City native, just back on the University of Minnesota campus after leading the silver medal-winning U.S. team in scoring at the Women’s World Championships, is the player to watch in the WCHA this season, according to the head coaches in the conference.

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Heise has been named the WCHA’s Preseason Player of the Year and is a member of the All-WCHA Preseason Team.

The Gophers, whose roster also includes Rochester Mayo High School graduate and standout goalie Makayla Pahl, are picked by the WCHA coaches to win the league championship this season, as well.

Heise was named the Top Forward and the MVP of the World Championships earlier this month, when she recorded 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) in seven games in her first-ever appearance with the top U.S. national team.

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"You get her into practice and she passes the eye test in regards to her skills," U.S. coach John Wroblewski said of Heise, following the tournament-opening victory against Japan on Thursday, Aug. 25. "She has a strong frame and she has a glide to her that's very impressive, it's almost effortless the way she can get up and down the sheet.
"She has a lot of power to her game, but then she's got the hands to complement and round out her game and be just very dangerous."

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Heise
Matt Zambonin/Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

The 2018 Minnesota Miss Hockey award winner as a senior playing for Red Wing High School, Heise finished last season with a nation-best 66 points. Her 29 goals were the second-most in the country. She led the Gophers in both of those categories, as well as assists (37), shots on goal (235), game-winning goals (6) and shorthanded goals (5).

Heise had a pair of five-point games at the World Championships in Denmark, centering a line that included former Gopher Amanda Kessel.

Heise and the Gophers open their season at home on Sept. 24, with a 2 p.m. game against the University of Manitoba.

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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