Forward Shiann Darkangelo’s hockey career has taken her quite a few places in the US, but her journey outside the States has just begun.
Darkangelo grew up in Brighton, Michigan, playing on boys’ teams. From Honeybaked to Little Caesar’s AAA, Darkangelo made her way to Division I hockey at Syracuse, before transferring to Quinnipiac. After a couple years’ stint in the NWHL, Darkangelo now looks to make her mark for the CWHL in China.
Darkangelo began her D1 hockey career at Syracuse, where she stayed for two years. During her freshman year, she recorded the second hat trick in school history, scoring three power play goals in one game, as seen in the video below. Her success earned her a spot on the CHA (College Hockey America) All-Tournament Team. In her sophomore season, she led her team to the CHA Championship game, with both the highest total goals and game-winning goals for the season.
She transferred to Quinnipiac to finish off her collegiate hockey career. The switch was nothing short of a success, as she averaged more than a point a game her junior year. She was the second player in program history to score 40 points in the same season and record 16 goals in one season.
After college, Darkangelo signed with the Connecticut Whale of the NWHL. She started off on fire before being sidelined by a knee injury and ended the season averaging a point a game. Then, in the NWHL’s second year, Darkangelo signed with the Buffalo Beauts, winning the Isobel Cup in a successful season. Additionally, Darkangelo made the All-Star Game in both seasons and was on the team that won both times.
Internationally, Darkangelo won gold in the World Championships in 2016, scoring a goal and three assists. She also has earned two Four Nations cups.
Recently, Darkangelo was selected by the CWHL’s Kunlun Red Stars in the third round, #20 overall. She will join a few other American teammates as hockey ambassadors as China ramps up for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
As she explores and plays in China, Darkangelo is gaining valuable international experience. Not only will she be playing with or against all of Team China, she will also be teammates with star Finnish goaltender Noora Räty. While forwards interact less with their goaltenders during games, Darkangelo will be able to shoot on Räty in practice and work with one of the best goaltenders in women’s hockey.
Moreover, while everybody is wondering what exactly being a hockey ambassador in China entails, there is no doubt that Darkangelo will impact the game in a positive way. From bringing her passion of the game to showing her sniping prowess, Darkangelo will provide be a great forward for the Red Stars.
Is this ranking too high or too low?
At number 14, Darkangelo comes in just under halfway on our list. While Darkangelo has consistently performed at or above the curve where she has played, she has not managed to crack the US Olympic roster and was left off this year’s World’s roster. At 23, she still has time to try for another Olympics, but the window of opportunity is closing on her. Still, her skill and current role in women’s hockey cannot be disputed. Number 14 is a perfect spot.