11 New Zealand Ranking Ice Hockey Players in History

Brandon McNally

Ice hockey is a popular sport in New Zealand, and there are many talented players from the country. New Zealand has produced some of the best ice hockey players in the world, from NHL players to Olympic medalists.

We will look at some of the top ice hockey players from New Zealand, including their accomplishments and career highlights. We will also discuss why they have become some of the best ice hockey players in the country.

1. Matt Schneider

Matt Schneider is a standout figure in New Zealand ice hockey, a true luminary on the Skycity Stampede team within the NZIHL. With three MVP awards in 2014, 2017, and 2021, he’s not just a player, but a symbol of excellence in the sport.

His passion extends beyond the rink; he’s a driving force for the development of ice hockey in the country. From upgrading rink infrastructure to nurturing coaches and officials, he’s committed to its growth.

A lifelong devotee of the sport, Matt’s journey began in Canada before he brought his talents to New Zealand in 2010. His leadership and mentorship inspire aspiring young players nationwide.

2. Jordan Challis

Jordan Challis, born on March 25, 1992, stands as one of New Zealand’s premier ice hockey talents. His versatility as a right or left-wing player has been showcased since his debut with the Botany Swarm in 2006, where he amassed an impressive four NZIHL championships.

Challis has proudly represented his nation in international tournaments, including the World Championships and World Junior Championships. Currently, he skates for the West Auckland Admirals, demonstrating his prowess with a remarkable 15 points in just 9 games during the 2020-21 season.

With over 200 NZIHL games and more than 170 points, Challis is celebrated for his exceptional speed, skill, and leadership on the ice.

3. Corey Down

Corey Down, a standout ice hockey player in New Zealand, led the Ice Blacks as their captain in 2011. Despite the sport’s limited popularity in the country, he guided the team to an impressive second-place finish at the 2011 Winter Games held on home soil.

Down’s talent extended beyond national borders as he also played for the Melbourne Ice in the Australian Ice Hockey League from 2010 to 2013. New Zealand’s ice hockey history, dating back to the early 20th century, saw its first club established in 1937, with a national championship following in 1948.

The NZIHF’s foundation in 1986 marked their international presence, competing in IIHF World Championships since 1987, primarily in Division II or III, with their best finish at 27th place in 1987.

4. Grace Harrison

Grace Harrison is a goaltender for the women’s ice hockey team for New Zealand. She is a member of the New Zealand national team and plays for the Botany Swarm in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League. During the 2021 season, Grace was one of just two women playing in the league.

This was a remarkable feat, as the league is predominately comprised of male players. Her commitment to the sport and her team has been unwavering, and she has been an inspiration for other female athletes in the league and across the country.

Her presence in the league is a reminder that gender should not be a barrier to success in any sport.

5. Kayla Whitelock

Kayla Marie Whitelock MNZM is a remarkable athlete who has achieved a great deal in the field of field hockey. She is a New Zealand field hockey player who has had an impressive international career.

She has represented her country at four Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, and two Hockey World Cups. She was also the captain of the New Zealand women’s national field hockey team which is testament to her impressive leadership qualities.

Kayla has enjoyed a successful career as a field hockey player, having competed in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. She has been an inspiration to many aspiring hockey players, not only in her own country but around the world.

Her hard work and dedication have been rewarded with numerous awards, including the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to hockey. Kayla’s commitment to hockey is clear and it is an inspiration to many.

Her achievements are a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. She is a true sporting hero and her success is something to be celebrated..

6. Anita Punt

Anita McLaren is an inspiring athlete from New Zealand. She has been a dedicated field hockey player since 2009 and has proudly represented her country in several major competitions.

During her nine-year sports career, she was a member of the national field hockey team of New Zealand, competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Her impressive accomplishments have made her a role model for many aspiring athletes in her country and beyond. McLaren’s competitive spirit and dedication to the sport have earned her recognition from the sports community.

She has been praised for her hard work and determination, which has ultimately led to the success of her teams at the international level. McLaren’s career has been an incredible example of the power of perseverance and hard work.

Her determination has pushed her to pursue success even in the face of adversity. She has become a living example of how to achieve success through dedication and hard work, and her story has been an inspiration to many.

Her remarkable career has made her an icon in the field hockey community in New Zealand and beyond..

7. Nicholas Wilson

Nicholas Wilson is a professional field hockey player from New Zealand. He specializes in playing the striker position, which is the position responsible for scoring goals.

He is currently an active member of the New Zealand’s Hockey National Team, commonly known as the Black Stick Men’s Team. This team is one of the most successful hockey teams in the world and has won a number of international tournaments.

Nicholas Wilson has been an integral part of the team for many years and has made a significant contribution to the team’s success. He is highly respected by his peers and has become an inspiration to many aspiring field hockey players..

8. Charlotte Harrison

Charlotte Harrison is a talented field hockey player from New Zealand. She has made an impressive career out of playing for the New Zealand women’s national field hockey team.

She has competed in a number of prestigious tournaments such as the Summer Olympics, held in 2012 and 2016, and the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010. In addition, she was also a reserve team member at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

This is a testament to her dedication and skill as an athlete, as well as her commitment to the sport. Harrison has become a well-known figure in the field hockey community, and her impressive achievements are a source of pride for not only her country but the sport itself..

9. Olivia Merry

Olivia Merry is an accomplished field hockey player from New Zealand. She has represented her country in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, and has achieved great success. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Olivia and her team won a bronze medal, a remarkable achievement.

However, her biggest success came at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where she and her team were triumphant, winning gold. Olivia’s success in the sport of field hockey is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the game.

She has made a name for herself, and is an inspiration to other young athletes..

10. Andrew Buckley

Andrew Buckley was a well-known field hockey player from New Zealand. He was part of the men’s national team for the country, often referred to as The Black Sticks, during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

During his career, Buckley was able to accumulate 76 caps with the national team. This is a remarkable feat, as it shows that he was a consistent contributing member of the national team for a very long period of time.

His success in the field hockey arena earned him great respect from his peers and fans alike. Buckley was a great example of the hard work and dedication that it takes to achieve success in any field.

He has since retired from the sport, but his legacy lives on, and he will forever be remembered as one of the most successful field hockey players in New Zealand.

11. Andrew Hastie

Andrew Blair Hastie was an esteemed field hockey player from New Zealand. He was a regular member of the men’s national team, which was nicknamed The Black Sticks, throughout the 1990s.

During his career, he earned a total of 68 caps, which is a testament to his skill as a player. After retiring from his playing career, Hastie became a coach and led the Canterbury Cavaliers to the 2005 New Zealand NHL title.

This was a remarkable achievement and further established his legacy as a great field hockey player and coach.


New Zealand ice hockey players are some of the best in the world. With the country’s passion for the sport, it is no surprise that the nation has provided an impressive number of talented players.

From the NHL to the Olympics, these players have made their mark on the ice, representing New Zealand with pride and skill.

They have helped to grow the popularity of the sport in the country and have provided fans with some of the most exciting moments in the history of the sport.

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Brandon McNally

I have been playing hockey my whole life. I am currently a professional hockey player with the Calgary Flames. I am also a part time coach at the University of Calgary and the head coach of the Calgary Northstars Minor Hockey Association. I have always wanted to be an NHL player and I am very excited to be one! My hobbies are playing hockey, coaching, and spending time with my family. LinkedIn