Canada's Natalie Spooner voted female hockey player of year by IIHF

Natalie Spooner's knee injury hasn't overshadowed a sensational year in which the Canadian national team forward was voted the International Ice Hockey Federation's female player of the year on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Spooner generated a third of the ballots cast by nearly 100 members of the media and IIHF members, the federation said. U.S. national team veteran Alex Carpenter finished second with 14.6% of the votes, followed by Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin (11.5%) and Switzerland's Alina Muller (9.1%).

The award debuted last year and was won by American Hilary Knight.

The honor is the latest for Spooner, who was named the MVP and top forward following the Professional Women's Hockey League's inaugural season. The PWHL Toronto forward led the league with 20 goals - including five game-winners - and 27 points in 24 games.

Her season, however, ended with a knee injury that required surgery and was sustained in Game 3 of Toronto's semifinal playoff series against eventual champion Minnesota.

Spooner also contributed a goal and three assists in seven games for Canada's gold medal-winning team at the world championships in April. It was her 10th world championship appearance, and second straight after taking six months off to give birth to her first child, a son, in December 2022.