Women’s Hockey Player Tiers: Top 50 Olympians from Marie-Philip Poulin to Abby Roque

The Athletic NHL writers Feb 2, 2022 47
The objective was simple: rank the top 50 hockey players who will compete on the biggest stage in the women’s game.

Our NHL colleagues routinely rank the league’s top 100 players into tiers, from MVP-worthy talents to top-line standouts. We’re stealing that idea.

With the women’s tournament in Beijing starting on Wednesday, it’s time to unveil The Athletic’s Olympic women’s hockey player tiers.

In our case, we’re ranking the top 50 players at the 2022 Beijing Olympics and placing them in five tiers — from generational talents to young players with breakout potential.

Starting as a conversation between Hailey Salvian, Shayna Goldman and Alyssa Longmuir — using Alyssa’s and Shayna’s wealth of underlying data points as a baseline — we spent hours on video calls, shifting players up and down, debating individual value and figuring out who we might be over-rating or under-rating. As we got feedback from various experts we asked to audit our list, we talked more, debated even more, and shifted players until we came up with a final list.

No model, analyst or player has all the answers. We all have different opinions on players. We all have our own biases, too. We know that. We also know there will be debate about who is ranked where, or who was snubbed. That’s part of the fun.

To be clear: These are Olympic player tiers. Not a professional ranking. So, please don’t ask us why Jillian Dempsey isn’t here.

Now, let’s get to the list.