In 1993 she was a member of Ontario¹s winning team in the innagural national under-18 championships. In 1995, she was chosen captain of Team Ontario in the 1995 Canada Winter Games, where the her team went on to claim the gold medal. In 1996-97 she was the top scorer in the OWIAA¹s collegiate league with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, as well as being awarded ³Rookie of the Year² honors.
Beginning in the 1996-1997 season, Jayna Hefford began an incredible career on the collegiate, national and international levels which would
leave one speechless. Some of those accomplishments, in chronological order, were as follows:
- 1997: Jayna was a member of Canada¹s gold medal winning women¹s ice hockey team in her 1st appearance at the International Ice Hockey Federation Championships, hereinafter referred to as the World Championships. She also was a member of the University of Toronto Lady Blues collegiate team which finished 2nd in the OWIAA.
- 1997-1998: Jayna Hefford was a member of Team Canada in the 1st appearance of women¹s ice hockey in the Olympic Games, in which her team won the silver medal. During the same period she was named the “Kingston and Ontario Amateur Athlete of the Year”.
- 1998-1999: Jayna participated for Canada in her 2nd appearance at the World Championships held in Finland, where Canada was awarded the gold medal and she was the tournament¹s leading scorer.
- 1999-2000: Jayna Hefford returned for her 3rd appearance at the World Championships held in Canada, where Team Canada again won the gold medal and Jayna repeated her performance as the tournament¹s leading scorer, notching up at least one point in every contest. Jayna was also named Kingston female athlete of the half century.
- 2000-2001: Jayna Hefford made her 4th appearance at the World Championships for Team Canada picking up her fourth gold medal in the competition held in the United States.
- 2001-2002: Jayna made her 2nd appearance for Team Canada in the Olympic Games, as Canada won the gold medal and Jayna had the thrill of scoring the winning goal, with only one second remaining in the second period. Back home in Canada, Jayna was inducted into the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame.
- 2003-2004: Jayna Hefford won the honors of being named “Top Forward” in the 2003 Women¹s National Championships, while playing with the Brampton Thunder.
- 2003-2004: Jayna made her 5th appearance at the World Championships, as the games returned to Canada. Her team won the gold medal and Jayna received not only the World Championship Directorate Award as “Top Forward” of the games, but was selected as a member of the tournament¹s “All Star Team”.
- 2004-2005: In her 6th appearance at the World Games held in Sweden, Jayna received another silver medal for Canada¹s 2nd place finish, and repeated as the winner of the title of “Top Forward” of this international tournament.
- 2005-2006: Jayna Hefford returned for her 3rd Olympic appearance in the games held in Turin, Italy. Hefford was the third leading scorer with 3 goals and 4 assists, which helped earn Team Canada their 2nd Olympic gold medal in women¹s ice hockey. At the national level, Jayna was named “Top Forward” in the 2006 Canadian National Championships.
- 2006-2007: Jayna won yet another gold medal as a member of Team Canada in her 7th appearance at the World Championships held in Canada. This year she was the “Top Scorer” of the Brampton Thunder with 26 points in 27 games, and finished second in the competition for the Angela James Bowl by just 3 points. She was named “The Most Valuable Player” in the CWHL, and also named a member of the Central CWHL “All Star Team”.
- 2007-2008: Hefford returned to the World Championships held in China, in which Team Canada was awarded the silver medal. Back home, the awards abounded. Jayna was awarded the Angela James Bowl, as the top scorer in the CWHL with a record 69 points. She was also named “Top Forward” in both the women¹s national championship game and in the CWHL. She was also named to the First CWHL All Star Team, and became the first woman in the CWHL to score 100 career points, which she did on January 7, 2009 in a game against the Montreal Stars.
- 2008-2009: Jayna was a member of Team Canada for her 9th appearance at the World Championships held in Finland, where Team Canada won the silver medal.
- 2009-2010: Jayna Hefford became one of only 4 Canadian women¹s hockey players to participate in her 4th Olympic Games, held in Vancouver, BC. In Canada¹s gold medal performance at the Games, she was the 2nd leading scorer with 5 goals and 7 assists. This season she was also honored for the achievement of scoring 200 international career points, and playing in her 200th international game for Team Canada.
- 2010-2011: Hefford made her 10th appearance for Team Canada at the World Championships held in Switzerland, where Team Canada won another silver medal.
- 2011-2012: Jayna returned for her 11th appearance at the World Championships held in the United States, where Team Canada captured gold, in a thrilling overtime victory.
- Jayna competed in her 12th World Championsips in 2013 in Ottawa, winning a silver medal.
In women¹s ice hockey, there are a lot of opinions about who is the greatest player ever. That being said, Jayna Hefford will have to be at
the top or near the top of everyone¹s list. In a very physical sport where size is a major asset, Hefford at a petite 1.65 cm is the smallest of the Canada¹s women hockey greats. Despite her diminutive size, Hefford is a fierce competitor, who has been able to successfully compete in women¹s hockey at the highest levels for almost 20 years, and is still going strong. Most recently, Jayna won her 4th consecutive Olympic Gold medal in Sochi, Russia.
On a personal level, Jayna Hefford, or “Heff” as she is known by friends and fans, was the co-founder, along with fellow Canadian female ice hockey great Lori Dupuis, of a female ice hockey school in Kingston, Ontario, which has been in operation since 1998. Jayna has been an RBC Olympian since 2007. She was a passionate Wayne Gretzky fan growing up, admiring both his skill and character on and off the ice. In 2004, Jayna completed her degree in Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto. In May of 2012, Jayna was given the tremendous honour of visiting our Canadian troops in Afghanistan, along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Jarome Iginla, Gord Miller and teammate, Marie-Philip Poulin. She has been a spokesperson for the Canadian Hockey Associations Initiation Program, and works with various charities. In 2009, she founded the Jayna Hefford Links 4 Life Golf Classic. The annual tournament raises money for the Kingston hospital foundation, in memory of her father, Larry Hefford. In its initial year the tournament raised $15,000 for palliative and cancer care, and in it’s fifth year this summer the $100,000 donation mark should be reached. In February of 2013, Jayna was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubiliee award in recognition of her community involvement and work to represent Canada. As an athlete, and as a humanitarian, Jayna Hefford is strictly world class. Maybe it is time to start that collection of Jayna Hefford memorabilia.