PHOTO COURTESY OF GOPHER ATHLETICS
Nicole Schammel, who last season was the leading scorer at the University of Minnesota and a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award for the best player in college hockey, has signed with the Minnesota Whitecaps of the National Women’s Hockey League.
“Being a part of the Whitecaps organization is a huge honor and I could not be more excited to join the team and the NWHL,” said Schammel. “The visibility for women’s hockey has increased over the last few years. The opportunities available for women’s hockey players have improved and I hope to see these continue to grow.”
Schammel, who describes herself as a “creative forward” whose best attributes as a player are her playmaking and offensive skills, added, “The most important thing to me is touching the communities that support the Whitecaps and giving our fans the best possible product on the ice. From a team standpoint, the Whitecaps had an incredible first year in the NWHL and I would like to help the Whitecaps defend the Isobel Cup.”
In 2018-19, Schammel capped off an incredible career with the Gophers, leading the team with a career-high 47 points (16-31-47) in 39 games. She also earned All-WCHA Second-Team and All-USCHO Third-Team honors in her final season.
“Nicole is coming off a great year with the Gophers, and we are excited to have her be a part of our offense this coming season,” said Whitecaps co-head coach Ronda Engelhardt. “Nicole has a way to make plays happen and be in the right place at the right time.”
Schammel spent her freshman season at Minnesota State, where she led the Mavericks with 22 points (11-11-22) in 36 games, before transferring to Minnesota and posting 91 points (39-52-91) in 116 games in her final three seasons.
A native of Red Wing, Minnesota, Schammel was a finalist for the prestigious Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award in 2014 and a two-time all-state honoree. She finished her career at Red Wing High School with 457 points (273-184-457), which ranks second all-time in Minnesota state high school history.
Said Engelhardt: “What makes this signing special is it highlights the meaning of the Whitecaps and why the Whitecaps became a team in the first place. She is a player that had the opportunity to watch the Whitecaps when she was younger with a goal of someday getting to play for the team. She was also a part of the Jr Whitecaps, so we couldn't be happier that her journey has brought her here and know she will be a valuable player for our team.”
“I have always respected and admired what the Whitecaps have done for women’s hockey in providing women a place to play after college,” said Schammel. “It is important to recognize Jack Brodt and the women who have played for the Whitecaps over the past 15 years because without them this opportunity would not be available.”
In addition to playing hockey, Schammel is a medical device sales representative for J.K. Medical. For the past four years, she has also coached girls of all ages at Os Hockey.