Congratulations to Chayla Edwards, who signed a letter of intent to play hockey for the University of Wisconsin.

Chayla Edwards will play for U of Wisconsin in 2019-2020.

Edwards, a 17-year-old, defenseman and high school senior from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, will debut with the NCAA Division I Badgers in the 2019-2020 season.

She currently skates for Pittsburgh’s Shady Side Academy and the Pittsburgh Penguins 19U Girls Elite Team.

“So honored and excited to officially become a Badger!!!,” Edwards tweeted.

Edwards tallied 4 goals and 2 assists for Shady Side in 2017-18 and helped power the team to Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic titles in 2016 and 2017.

Edwards earned All-WIHLMA honors over the last three seasons. She was named to USA Today’s 2017-18 American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Girls Hockey Team. She also participated in the 2017 USA Hockey Girls U18 Select Player Development Camp.

Defenseman Chayla Edwards will be patrolling the blue line for the University of Wisconsin next season (Photo/Courtesy Robert Edwards).

“It came down to (Associate Head Coach) Dan Koch and (Head Coach) Mark Johnson,” Robert Edwards, Chayla’s father, said of his daughter’s university choice. “The fact that they are one of the top teams doesn’t hurt and their hockey culture, from my understanding,  is top notch. We’re very comfortable with the coaching and very comfortable with Wisconsin.”

Black hockey players have gravitated to the University of Wisconsin over the last few seasons.

Shady Side Academy senior Chayla Edwards becomes the latest hockey player of color to commit to the University of Wisconsin (Photo/Courtesy Robert Edwards).

Defenseman K’Andre Miller, a 2018 New York Rangers first-round draft pick, is  playing his freshman season in Madison, Wisconsin for men’s hockey Head Coach Tony Granato.

Forward Sarah Nurse, a 2018 Canadian Winter Olympian, played four seasons at Wisconsin. She finished her NCAA career with 76 goals and 61 assists in 150 regular season games.

Nurse now plays for the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She has a goal and an assist in seven games so far this season. The goal was a game-winner.

“My daughters have been influenced by her and are encouraged by her success,” Robert Edwards said.

JD Greenway,  a 2016 Toronto Maple Leafs third-round draft pick and the younger brother of 2018 U.S. Winter Olympian and Minnesota Wild forward prospect Jordan Greenway, played two seasons at Wisconsin before joining the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2018-19.

Hockey is a huge part of the Edwards family. Oldest sister Britney doesn’t play, but encourages her siblings. Chayla’s younger sister, Laila Edwards, is a forward for Selects Academy at Bishop Kearney in Rochester, New York. Older brother, Bobby, plays club hockey at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and younger brother, Colson, plays for the Cleveland Jr. Jacks.

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