Brighton's Shiann Darkangelo joins NWHL expansion team in Toronto

The Detroit News
Brighton's Shiann Darkangelo, right, celebrates with Joecelyn Lamoureux-Davidson against Finland during the 2016 women's world hockey championships in Kamloops, British Columbia. (Associated Press)

Brighton's Shiann Darkangelo is one of five players who signed with the new National Women's Hockey League expansion team in Toronto on Wednesday.

Darkangelo, a member of the 2016 world championship-winning U.S. team, joins four other Canadian players: forward Taylor Woods, defensemen Kristen Barbara and Emma Greco and goalie Elaine Chuli.

The Toronto team increases the U.S.-based NWHL’s number of franchises to six and comes a year after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded after 12 seasons because of financial instability.

Darkangelo, who played minor hockey with Honeybaked and Little Caesars before attending Syracuse and Quinnipiac, had six goals in 27 games with the CWHL Toronto Furies in 2018-19. She also combined for 20 goals in two seasons with the NWHL Connecticut Whale and the Buffalo Beauts from 2015-17.

The yet-to-be-named franchise has an ownership group led by former Harvard captain Johanna Boynton and former Brown coach Margaret “Digit” Murphy as its president.

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The NWHL was founded in 2015, becoming North America’s first pro women’s league to pay its players a salary. It currently has teams in Boston; Monmouth Junction, New Jersey; Danbury, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The NWHL does not reveal its financial numbers or all player salaries, with some making as much as $15,000 last season. The league introduced a plan to share 50% of revenue generated from sponsorship and media deals on top of player salaries.

The NWHL was unable to complete its season after postponing its championship game due to the coronavirus pandemic. Boston was scheduled to host Minnesota in the Isobel Cup Final on March 13. The game is expected to be played before the league opens its 2020-21 season in mid-November.