Zoe Hickel is no stranger to a hockey rink. That has not been the case this summer, as the Anchorage native practiced at the Subway Sports Centre for just the second time.

"Just doing a lot of off ice stuff, making my body feel good, just getting back into it," Hickel said after practice, as she readied for her third professional season, this one though won't be in the National Women's Hockey League.

She'll play her first year in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

"I don't know, I have never played in the CW yet, but, I know there's a lot of good Canadians, from what it sounds like, a pretty deep league," said Hickel, who will do more than cross the border.

She will head across the Pacific Ocean, and lace up her skates for the league's new Red Star Team, based in China.

First time for the two-time world champion in the Far East, and a journey full of several challenges.

"You've got language barriers, different levels of play, different ages, overall it's going to be an open-minded experience, and absolutely want to make the most of it, I'm really looking forward to it," Hickel said.

One challenge facing her the other North American players, communicating with them.

"Chinese could use some work, still working on that," said Hickel, as she will be quite always from home.

However, road games for her include stops in Calgary, Boston, Toronto and Montreal. Hickel will help the Chinese prepare for their world championships, and the 2022 Olympics.