Sauce Us a Follow

Jessica Campbell Makes History as First Female Full-Time Assistant Coach in NHL with Seattle Kraken


The Seattle Kraken have appointed Jessica Campbell as an assistant coach, marking her as the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in NHL history.

This is not Campbell’s first historic achievement. In 2022, she made headlines when the Kraken hired her as an assistant coach for their AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, making her the first woman to coach behind the bench in the AHL.

We had the privilege of speaking with Campbell when she joined us as a guest host on our Women’s Hockey Life Podcast back in 2021. Watch the Podcast HERE News Release

Jessica Campbell became the first woman to be named an NHL coach when she was hired as a Seattle Kraken assistant Wednesday.

The 31-year-old joined Dan Bylsma’s staff after the latter was named the second coach in Kraken history May 28. Campbell was Bylsma’s assistant for Seattle’s American Hockey League affiliate in Coachella Valley the past two seasons.

“During our tenure in Coachella Valley, I saw firsthand Jessica’s commitment to player development,” Bylsma said. “Her ability to establish relationships with her players, specifically Tye Kartye, Shane Wright and Ryker Evans, was an important factor in this hire. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her at the NHL level.”

Campbell joined a growing group of women to coach an NHL game when she joined Bylsma behind the bench for the Kraken’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames in a split-squad preseason game at Climate Pledge Arena on Sept. 26, 2023. She followed Kori Cheverie after the latter was a guest coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins the day before. Cheverie coached Montreal of the Professional Women’s Hockey League this season.

Coachella Valley named Campbell the first woman full-time assistant in the AHL on July 4, 2022.

“The reason why we hired her, we didn’t hire her because she’s female, we hired her because we thought she’s a good coach,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said May 28. “She has an interesting background with not only skating, but skill development, and that’s been a big part of what they’ve been able to do with Coachella Valley.”

Campbell helped the Firebirds reach the Calder Cup Final in its inaugural season in 2022-23 and again this past season. She coached on-ice sessions at Kraken training camp and was the first woman to coach at the 2022 IIHF World Championship when she was an assistant for Germany, a team that included Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer.

“There was a moment when I realized that I was coaching NHL players on our team and competing against NHL players,” Campbell told the Kraken website the day she was hired by Coachella Valley. “My words were welcomed, and I was respected. I realized I can do this.”

Campbell began her hockey career as a child playing with and against boys in her hometown of Rocanville, Saskatchewan, where girls hockey wasn’t an option for her at the time. She played four seasons as a forward at Cornell University, and professionally for Calgary of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and Malmo of the Swedish Women’s Hockey League. She also skated for silver-medal winning Canada at the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Following Campbell’s playing career, she started working as a (…) continue reading

Around the RinkCoachingIIHFLeaguesLocker TalkNewsOlympicsPodcastsProSkill DevelopmentTrainingUniversityWHL People
In this article: #HockeyJobs, #ProHockey, #SportsJobs, #WomenInSport, grow the game, Hockey, hockey coach, Jessica Campbell, News, NHL Coach

[adrotate group=”1″]

Previous Post
PWHL Superfan Debbie Harrison Great for the Game (Part Two)
Next Post
USA captures historic gold medal at ISBHF Worlds

[adrotate group=”2″]