Duo played together at U of M and for Team USA

Former teammates for the University of Minnesota and Team USA will now be heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame together. Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell-Pohl were both inducted into the the Hockey Hall of Fame along with five others Tuesday in an announcement from the Hockey Hall of Fame selection Committee.

Darwitz and Wendell-Pohl will be members of the Class of 2024 along with former NHL stars Jeremy Roenick, Shea Weber and Pavel Datsyuk. Two “hockey builders” were also inducted: Colin Campbell and David Poile.

A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Natalie Darwitz played for Eagan H.S. before joining the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2002. She led the Gophers to a national championship over Harvard in 2005, scoring the winning goal. Internationally, she played for the United States at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Games. Darwitz  also represented her country in eight world championships, winning Best Forward in 2008.

Darwitz rocketed into the hockey stratosphere at a young age, racking up high point totals as a youngster for Eagan High School. In her high school career she had 486 points, still the most by any Minnesota player in history. In 1999 she was the youngest player to be selected to the national team at age 15 and captained Team USA from 2007-2010. She attended the University of Minnesota and was a member of the program’s two national titles in 2004 and 2005. Darwitz and Wendell-Pohl rank No. 1 and No. 2 in all-time scoring at the University of Minnesota. Darwitz scored 246 points in 99 games and Wendell-Pohl had 237 points in 101 games.

Darwitz Career Stats (elite prospects.com)

SASCTEAMLEAGUEGPGATPPIM+/-
1996-97undefined flagEagan High (women)USHS-MN (W)259328121
1997-98undefined flagEagan High (women)USHS-MN (W)288558143
1998-99undefined flagUSAWC (W)521323
undefined flagEagan High (women)USHS-MN (W)23572986
1999-00undefined flagUSAWC (W)52681810
undefined flagEagan High (women)USHS-MN (W)288137118
2000-01undefined flagUSAWC (W)531445
2001-02undefined flagUSAOG (W)571828
2002-03undefined flagUniv. of MinnesotaNCAA (W)333335683429
2003-04undefined flagUniv. of MinnesotaNCAA (W)262737642840
undefined flagUSAWC (W)5731027
2004-05undefined flagUniv. of MinnesotaNCAA (W)4042721143672
undefined flagUSAWC (W)522482
2005-06undefined flagUSAOG (W)533684
2006-07undefined flagUSAWC (W)545969
2007-08undefined flagUSA“C”WC (W)5641027
2008-09undefined flagUSA“C”WC (W)5371028
2009-10undefined flagUSA“C”OG (W)5471106

Krissy Wendell-Pohl was born in Brooklyn Park and led Park Center High School to a state high school championship in 2000. She became the first Minnesota and WCHA member to win the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2005. Internationally, she played for Team USA from 1999 to 2007 – 147 total games, including 106 goals, six IIHF World Championships, including 2005 where she was MVP in the United States first ever gold medal win. Krissy represented the United States at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics Games, serving as Captain in 2006.

Like Darwitz, Wendell-Pohl had an illustrious high school career, setting the record for most goals in a season with 110 in 1999-2000 (the next most is 83 by Luverne’s Kamryn Van Batavia in 2021-22). She also scored 109 the season before and finished her high school career with 219 goals and 312 points in just two seasons of play. She also holds the record for most points in a season with 165 in 1999-2000 and has the second most all time with 149 in 1998-99.

Wendell-Pohl Career Stats (elite prospects.com)

Season          Team                                        League             GP   G     A   PTS  PIM  =/-

1998-99undefined flagPark Center High (women)USHS-MN (W)3010940149
undefined flagUSAWC (W)533646
1999-00undefined flagPark Center High (women)USHS-MN (W)3011055165
undefined flagUSAWC (W)521113610
2000-01undefined flagUSAWC (W)53912410
2001-02undefined flagUSAOG (W)515666
2002-03undefined flagUniv. of MinnesotaNCAA (W)252728553434
2003-04undefined flagUniv. of MinnesotaNCAA (W)363642786548
undefined flagUSAWC (W)443707
2004-05undefined flagUniv. of Minnesota“C”NCAA (W)4043611045474
undefined flagUSAWC (W)545909
2005-06undefined flagUSA“C”OG (W)531442
2006-07undefined flagUSA“C”WC (W)5571285
2008-09undefined flagLadies Team LuganoLKA (W)10112

 

Both Darwitz and Wendell-Pohl have played an integral role in the progress of girls and women’s hockey, not just in Minnesota, but on a national level. They are both members of the US Hockey Hall of Fame. They were the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the same year since 2010. Wendell-Pohl is currently a scout in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and Darwitz most recently helped lead PWHL Minnesota to the inaugural Walter Cup as the team’s general manager.

Mike Gartner, Chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee, announced the seven individuals  elected to Hockey Hall of Fame Honoured Membership on Tuesday, June 25, in both the Player and Builder Category. Players were selected by a committee and had to receive 75 percent of the vote.

“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as Honoured Members,” said Gartner. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”

In the Builder Category, two individuals were elected.

Hockey has been Colin Campbell’s life for the past 52 years: as a player, coach, and for the last 25 years as Senior Executive Vice President at the NHL’s Hockey Operations, Officiating, and Central scouting departments. Raised in Tillsonburg, ON, Colin has been involved in all facets of the game, including winning a Stanley Cup in 1994 as associate coach of the New York Rangers.

After his playing career, David Poile began his journey as an NHL executive with the Atlanta Flames in 1972. He moved with the Flames to Calgary for two seasons before being named the GM of the Washington Capitals in 1982, a job he held for 15 seasons. In 1997, David moved to Nashville as GM, a position he held until 2023. A member of the USA Hockey Hall of Fame, he is also the winningest longest tenured GM in NHL history.

“I’m happy for my family and for the life I have been able to live through hockey,” said Poile. “Thanks to the Selection Committee for this tremendous honour.”

Pavel Datsyuk was born in Sverdlovsk, Russia on July 20, 1978. After playing in the KHL he joined the Detroit Red Wings in 2001 and played 14 NHL seasons, scoring 314 goals and 604 assists in 953 games. A four-time Lady Byng trophy winner, he also won Stanley Cups with Detroit in 2002 and 2008. In international play, Pavel played for Russia at the Olympics in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 (where he was team captain) and 2018. He won Olympic gold in 2018 and bronze in 2002.

“I have been lucky in my hockey life to this point,” said Datsyuk. “I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me along my way.”

Jeremy Roenick was born in Boston, MA, and went from Thayer Academy to the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL in 1988. In 1989 he made the jump to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played eight seasons before moving to the Phoenix Coyotes. In his 20 NHL seasons he played for five different teams. Internationally, he represented the United States on numerous occasions, earning a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Jeremy finished his career as the second-highest American born goal scorer in NHL history.

“I’m so happy, I can’t thank everyone who was behind this honour enough,” said Roenick. “I’m at a loss for words and I’m never at a loss for words. Getting over this last hockey hurdle means so much to me.”

Born in Sicamous, BC, Shea Weber starred for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, winning a Memorial Cup in 2004. After his Junior career he turned pro with the Nashville Predators in 2006 and was team captain for six seasons. In international play, he won gold with Canada at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014. Overall, Shea is a member of one of hockey’s most select clubs, winning the Western Hockey League twice, a Memorial Cup, World Juniors, World Championships and the Olympics.

The 2024 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration is scheduled on Monday, November 11, in Toronto (preceded by the traditional slate of “Induction Weekend” events beginning on Friday, November 8, including the annual “Hockey Hall of Fame Game” hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Sunday’s “Hyundai Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic” featuring Honoured Members Jayna Hefford and Eric Lindros as captains). Stay tuned for further announcements in the upcoming weeks which will be posted here at HHOF.com and other HHOF social media platforms.