Natalie Darwitz in action at the Hockey Canada Cup on Sept. 5, 2009 in Vancouver.
Natalie Darwitz is already one of the most decorated U.S. women’s ice hockey players of all time. Now, she can add Hall of Famer to her list of accomplishments.
Darwitz is one of five members of the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, USA Hockey announced Thursday. She will be enshrined at a ceremony in Nashville on Dec. 12.
Darwitz becomes the fifth individual woman to be named to the Hall of Fame and the first since four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero was inducted in 2015. The entire 1998 U.S. Olympic women’s team was also inducted back in 2009.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Darwitz debuted with the national team as a 15-year-old in 1999, making her the youngest player ever selected to the team. Her first Olympic Winter Games came in 2002 in Salt Lake City. Darwitz had seven goals in the tournament, which tied for most among all players.
After helping Team USA win the silver medal in 2002, Darwitz assisted on the game-winning goal in 2006 to help the U.S. win a bronze medal in Torino. She then captained the 2010 Olympic team that won a silver in Vancouver.
In addition to her Olympic experience, Darwitz also won three world titles with Team USA, while finishing as world silver medalist five times.
Since her playing career ended in 2010, Darwitz has gone on to coach high school and college hockey. She is currently the head coach of the Hamline University women’s hockey team, which is located in St. Paul.
Among the other inductees is Nashville Predators general manager David Poile. He was the assistant general manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic men’s team that captured a silver medal and was the general manager of the 2014 team.
Longtime University of Michigan coach Red Berenson, NHL pioneer Leland "Hugo" Harrington, and referee Paul Stewart round out the class.