For some playing hockey is a way of life and a way for them to move on to the next level such as university or the pros.
Well for, Moose Jaw hockey product Brooklyn Nimegeers that’s exactly what she did, as she committed to play hockey at Princeton University in New Jersey for the 2024-25 season.
“I’m indescribably excited, I don’t think it’s really set in yet, it’s such a big thing. I’m so excited and thankful for this opportunity. The recruiting process was really long, but I think I made the right choice with Princeton.
16-year-old Nimegeers was headhunted by several NCAA Division I hockey programs such as Colgate University in New York and Ohio State offering her full athletic scholarships.
She had the task of trying to keep up with her studies, and play hockey at a high level, all while fending off NCAA schools.
“I was talking to schools multiple times a week so it was quite busy. Princeton stood out from all the other ones and I think a big part of it was the coaching staff. They all played on national teams, they are very experienced.”
Princeton Tigers head coach Cara Morey has played and coached at the collegiate level, won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s U22 team at the 2000 Nations Cup, and also coached Team Canada at the U-18 Women’s World Championships.
Nimeggers will also be coached by Courtney Kessel a former player of Canada’s women’s national team, and Shelly Picard – a USA Olympic silver medalist and IIHF world champion.
If that wasn’t enticing enough, Nimegeers will be teammates with Tigers captain and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Fillier, which will give her that boost to one day play at the national level.
“I want to play on Team Canada someday. I’m hoping to get invited to the U-18 Team Canada camp first and then my overall goal is to play for Team Canada in the Olympics.”
She still has a little bit of time before she takes that big step into playing university hockey, but she’s currently preparing herself on her current team – the Regina Rebels of the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL).
“Leading up to that year and this upcoming summer I’ll be busy with weight training and hockey camps. It will be busy but I want to go in as ready as I can be and eventually be one of the top defensemen on the team.”
So far this season Nimegeers has put together an impressive outing as a defenseman, sitting fourth in team scoring with 15 points in 13 games, along with serving as Rebels co-captain with teammate Greta Henderson.
“I feel like this year I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my game. I’m a leader on the team and that has led me to play the way I’m playing. I’m pretty happy with how my game is going this year. I’ve done a lot of training over the summer and I think I’ve gotten stronger in weight training, which has translated on the ice.”
Her Rebels squad through 13 games this season has posted a 10-3 record (30 points) and sits first in the SFU18AAAHL standings.
With the success, she is having this season and, in her career, Nimegeers still has the drive and passion to come to the rink every day and play hockey.
“The team is amazing, especially this year. There is something about playing hockey that just takes all my other stress away. I just love the competition of the game and I just really love hockey, it’s like my home.”
Nimegeers will take her love and passion for hockey to the University of Princeton, and get a world-class education in the process.
The Princeton Tigers play at the NCAA Division I level and are a part of the ECAC.