The NWHL announced that Toronto Six forward Mikyla Grant-Mentis is this year’s league MVP. She is the first black player to win the most valuable player award in the league’s short history. Grant-Mentis also won the Newcomer of the year award.
Mikyla Grant-Mentis is your @Discover 2021 Season MVP! 🏆
— NWHL (@NWHL) April 28, 2021
Mikyla Grant-Mentis Wins NWHL MVP Award
Grant-Mentis had a stellar rookie campaign with five goals and nine points in the shortened season. The Brampton, Ontario native helped the Six finish on top of the standings for the regular season. Toronto fell to the eventual champion Boston Pride in the Isobel Cup semifinals.
Boston defender Kaleigh Fratkin won defender of the year while Minnesota Whitecaps goalie Amanda Leveille got goaltender of the year. Metropolitan Riveters defender Saroya Tinker won the Denna Laing Award.
A Big Day for the NWHL
The league also announced that its salary cap will increase to $300,000. This is double from the current $150,000 limit. The increase will hopefully be a step in the right direction in making sure these athletes get some fair compensation. It’s nowhere near the salaries that the men get, but it’s a start.
Salaries will average $15,000 based on 20-player rosters, with salaries estimated to range between $10,000 to $35,000, which doesn’t include additional bonuses. The sizeable increase comes based on projections that give the league a more stable financial footing.
The league also announced that it will hold off on expanding to Montreal next season. NWHL officials announced the league would expand into Montreal earlier in the year. However, the league will wait until the 2022-23 due to the continued uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus.
Toronto is the only other Canadian team and had to play its entire season in the United States. Other teams in other league’s like Toronto Raptors in the NBA, Toronto Blue Jays in the MLB and the Canadian-based teams in MLS have been playing south of the border.