Defender Shannon Turner, who recently retired from the Connecticut Whale, was selected as one of seven recipients of the Premier Hockey Federation’s annual Foundation Award, the league announced on Thursday.
The PHF Foundation Award is awarded annually to one recipient from each team who actively applies the core values of hockey to their community along with being committed to growing and improving the sport’s culture.
Turner, a 31-year-old defender from Markham, Ontario, was the Whale’s winner for the second straight season.
“One of Shannon’s top priorities has been her charity work and I know that will continue in her retirement,” said Alex Moed, Connecticut’s general manager. “The awareness and support she brings to causes has been invaluable and should serve as a model to all.”
Since 2019, Turner has been heavily involved in fundraising and supporting the community through charitable donations.
Ahead of her fifth season in the league, she started a campaign to donate $1 for every blocked shot to Room to Read in an initiative to promote literacy and access to education worldwide. She has since been joined by teammates, competitors, and local organizations committed to making a difference in the lives of countless children at home and abroad.
Ahead of the 2021-22 season, Turner continued her philanthropy with a new campaign to “block out the stigma” surrounding mental health in partnership with Active Minds.
In November 2022, she renewed her commitment to Active Minds and to mitigating the stigmas surrounding mental health with a pledge to donate $1 for every shot she blocked this season, plus an additional $1,000 of her base salary. Along with matching pledges from individuals and organizations online, Turner and the women’s hockey community raised more than $12,500 for Active Minds over the past two seasons.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be receiving this award in my final year with the Connecticut Whale and the PHF,” Turner said. “I hope that future players continue to use their platforms and donate their time to help others who are struggling or could just use a kind word or smile to lift their spirits.
“We are all fighting different battles, whether you can see those battles take place on the ice between players or not because they are private ones, we should all know someone is in our corner and on our team,” she said.
Turner is the franchise leader in games played (132), assists (43), and penalty minutes (122). She has been a part of the team’s leadership group since 2017-18, including four seasons as captain. She played eight seasons with Connecticut, including the first year the team was formed in 2016-17.
Other winners of the award included Sammy Davis of the Boston Pride, Cassidy MacPherson of the Buffalo Beauts, Reagan Rust of the Metropolitan Riveters, Denisa Křížová of the Minnesota Whitecaps, Laura Jardin of the Montreal Force, and Shiann Darkangelo of the Toronto Six.
Foundation Award winners from Connecticut
2017: Elena Orlando
2018: Rachael Ade
2019: Sarah Hughson
2020: Jordan Brickner
2021: Grace Klienbach
2022: Shannon Turner
2023: Shannon Turner