After Hawthorn won the 2008 premiership the Hawthorn recruitment officer concentrated on the younger players in the 2008 AFL Draft. Shiels was a 2nd round selection (Hawthorn) No. 34 overall. He was the youngest player chosen that year.
Not expected to play in his first year, Shiel was training part-time and competing his schooling but after good performances playing for Box Hill, Shiels was promoted to play against Adelaide.  He played eleven games in his debut season.
Shiels and Josh Gibson were the only Hawthorn players to play every game in 2011.