A 27-year-old woman from the Mistawasis Nehiyawak continues her father’s footsteps into an NHL career where she joins the Winnipeg Jets.
From a hockey player to a coach, Sydney Daniels becomes the first Indigenous woman from the Treaty 6 territory as the Jets’ scout.
“I feel truly honoured being part of this organization because everyone I met along the past week has been so welcoming and warming,” said Daniels.
“It’s been a dream. I feel like I’ve been dreaming the last week. It’s a dream that I hopefully don’t wake up from.”
Daniels learned the passion for hockey by watching her father, Scott Daniels, who played professionally for the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers.
According to the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC), Daniels is the former captain of the NCAA’s Harvard Crimson and when her playing career ended, she joined her college team as an assistant coach.
STC Chief Mark Arcand said her skill, dedication to the sport and her academic accomplishments have helped make her the person she is today.
“It’s a male-dominated sport and to have one of our own people at the top is really opening the doors for our younger people and the next generation to come,” said STC Chief Mark Arcand. “She is truly a role model for our youth.”
Daniels looks up to Brigette Lacquette, who was the first Indigenous female hockey player for Canada at the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Together, they played together in this year’s Fred Sasakamoose Chief Thunderstick National Hockey Championship held in Saskatoon.
Daniels hopes to inspire others through her career and past accomplishments by encouraging the younger ones to make sure they love what they do.
“My advice to the youth is to make sure you know why you play the game. If it’s because you love it, then you’re going to find success,” she said. “But if you’re doing it for someone else … that’s not the best reason to play the sport. Do it because you love it.”
Daniels is one of three scouts the Jets hired last week.
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