Patty Kazmaier finalist Danielle Serdachny leads the NCAA in points this season
Serdachny, a senior forward at Colgate, leads the entire NCAA in both total points (71) and assists (46) in 2022-23.
HAMILTON, N.Y. — Danielle Serdachny's elite leadership skills, playing ability and service to her community has earned her a spot as a top-three finalist for the 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Serdachny, a senior at Colgate and two-time captain for the Raiders, has a whopping 71 points this season to lead all NCAA women's skaters. Her 46 assists is also the most in the nation this year.
The Edmonton native helped propel Colgate to a 32-6-2 overall record this year, which is a big turnaround compared to her first collegiate season where the team was 17-15-7.
Serdachny originally posted 32 points in her first season with the Raiders, which was the second highest on the team. She then led the squad in points the next three seasons and now leads the entire league in total points and assists.
It's not necessarily surprising though that Serdachny has become such an elite player, as she grew up with a family full of skaters.
"I was constantly surrounded by hockey," said the senior captain, who grew up in an environment full of the sport.
Her father, Steve, worked as the Edmonton Oilers skating and skills coach for multiple years, and she has three siblings that all grew up playing hockey. Her younger brother, Noah, is currently a freshman playing at Colorado College. She has plenty of extended family members who play the sport at a high level too, including her cousin Maya, who competed for Team Canada at the most recent U18 Women's World Championship, and is committed to play for the University of Connecticut.
Serdachny started to play organized hockey around the age of 3 or 4. "From there, kind of just went through it. I played boys hockey for a while and then made the switch over at age 16," she said.
The 5-foot-9 forward started to excel at the youth hockey level and ended up committing to play Division I her junior year of high school.
"I'm a bit indecisive when it comes to things like that," she joked about the recruiting process. "When I got to Colgate, it was a super welcoming environment and I was able to build a relationship with the coaches ... when I got to campus it just felt most right for what I wanted with my college experience."
She then eventually joined Team Canada and competed at U18 Women's World Championship a couple of years ago, where she posted three goals and an assist in five games.
"It was a super cool experience and kind of eye opening for me to see like all of those great players there," said Serdachny. "It was actually in Japan which made it pretty surreal. Just getting the opportunity to represent your country on any stage is a huge honor."
And now, years later, Serdachny is one of the best forwards in the NCAA. The captain credits her teammates for helping her earn a personal best of 71 points in 2022-23 (25 goals, 46 assists).
"You can't really score or do any of that if you don't have great teammates supporting you, so that's been huge this year," she said. "Getting the opportunity to play with some pretty great players really helped me out."
In 2022-23 Serdachny also led the NCAA in points-per-game (1.775) and has only been held off the scoresheet for just four games over the course of the season. She earned the ECAC Forward of the Year and Player of the Year titles and broke the previous record at Colgate for career points scored. Colgate has never had a Patty Kazmaier top-three finalist - until now.
The senior is currently an economics major and is planning on using her fifth year of eligibility (the extra year granted due to COVID-19) to come back for one more season in 2023-24.
Serdachny has been volunteering with the Rising Raiders program, which is an organization that gives young female hockey players in the state of New York a chance to have an older mentor in the sport. She has also helped out with inclusive learn to skate programs and at local schools in her free time.
The 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be given out on Saturday, March 18 at the Frozen Four in Duluth.