Veteran Schuttler leads Griffins into second semester action vs. Calgary

Makenna Schuttler is second on the Griffins in scoring with seven points in 18 games (Derek Harback photo).
Makenna Schuttler is second on the Griffins in scoring with seven points in 18 games (Derek Harback photo).

Jason Hills 
For MacEwan Athletics 
EDMONTON – Makenna Schuttler sits second in scoring for the MacEwan Griffins, but her impact within the program goes much further than what you see in the player stats category. 

Schuttler is one of just a handful of veterans that surround a very young Griffins' roster, and her experience and leadership are what really stand out on and off the ice. 

"Being an older player, I need to lead by example, and our team talks about being hard working and bringing that compete every day, and I want to inspire the girls to do the same," said Schuttler. 

The product of St. Albert is in her fourth year of U SPORTS hockey, spending her first season with the University of Ottawa Gee Gees, before coming back home and playing for MacEwan the past three seasons. 

This year, Schuttler was named an alternate captain, and wearing the A on her jersey gives her a great deal of pride. 

"It definitely means a lot," said Schuttler. 

"It's important to me to help build a strong culture within our program and be a good teammate." 

Schuttler also has experience of winning on her resume. She was part of the St. Albert Slash when they won three straight Esso national championships from 2017-19. Schuttler was featured as a strong power forward with the Slash, and that's the role she has with the Griffins. 

When you watch highlights of Schuttler, her goals are scored because of her hard work and grit.  

"I play my best when I move my feet. Having that compete in the game drives me to be better," said Schuttler. 

MacEwan (3-15) returns to action this weekend when they face the Calgary Dinos in a home-and-home affair. They host Calgary on Friday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena), and then travel to Calgary on Saturday (6 p.m., both Canada West TV).

Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food bank items to support the SAMU Pantry, which provides food to students in need.


The Griffins have benefited with the addition of Schuttler with her strong combination of her championship winning experience and her strong work ethic. Those traits will hopefully filter through the team's young core group as they learn the ropes of playing in the Canada West conference. 

"With our program being in our building years, there are going to be a lot of lessons learned and some ups and downs, but you always need to compete hard every shift," said Schuttler. 

Makenna Schuttler's speed and strong forechecking are huge for the Griffins (Derek Harback photo).

Schuttler has really enjoyed being part of the program since the team's inception into U SPORTS. 

"It's been exciting. To be part of the program since the beginning has been special for me. I'll leave the program with a lot of great memories," said Schuttler. 

Griffins' head coach Chris Leeming has seen Schuttler's game developed over the past two seasons, especially when it comes to her overall consistency and when the team has needed her, she's stepped up her game to another level. 

"Schutts brings an element of speed to our roster as her skating ability allows her to transport pucks, maintain and extend our team's possession in the offensive zone, and is a formidable forechecker as she is able to take away time and space with urgency as well," said Leeming. 

"Over the course of the past two seasons, I have definitely seen growth in her consistency in games as she has elevated her capacity on ice and is finding ways to contribute in her role as part of our leadership group." 

Schuttler comes from an athletic family. Her dad played for the Alberta Golden Bears football program. Her sister was a strong ringette player, and a couple of her uncles excelled in hockey. She got her start playing ringette and didn't transition to hockey until her first year of pee wee. 

"Growing up, I always knew that unfortunately there weren't a lot of opportunities to play ringette for women at a higher level, and with my dad playing university football, he encouraged me to make the switch to hockey," said Schuttler. 

"He helped me make that transition into hockey, and he always talked about how special it was for him to be a student-athlete, and from that point forward, I wanted to make that my goal."