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Jessica Campbell: History Maker for Women in the Hockey World

If you are familiar with the hockey world, you have probably heard the name Jessica Campbell. She has been in the news quite recently and we will jump in to see why. 

Courtesy of Jessica Campbell's X account

Campbell, 31 is a former Canadian women's national team forward. She also played for Cornell and the Inferno in the CWHL. She went from on the ice to behind the benches as she started her coaching career in 2017.

Her first position was as a power-skating coach where she worked with elite players like Natalie Spooner and Joel Edmundson. She then served as an assistant and skills coach for the Nurnberg Ice Tigers. In 2022, Campbell joined the coaching staff for Team Germany in the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship. She became the first woman coach for a men’s national team at this event with the German National Team. She is now the assistant coach with the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the AHL.

"I never imagined getting to coach at this level," Campbell said in September.

The head coach that she worked with at Coachella Valley was Dan Bylsma. Now he is the new head coach of the Seattle Kraken and has confirmed that Campbell is in conversation for a role on his staff which could include becoming an assistant coach. 

She was the first ever woman to be a coach for an AHL team and would make history again if she had a role in the coaching staff in the NHL. She was also the first woman to be behind a Seattle Kraken bench during the preseason. 

Courtesy of Darren Brown / Independent Correspondent

"The job she's done is the reason why we hired her. We didn't hire her because she was female, we hired her because she was a good coach," Kraken general manager Ron Francis told the Associated Press

The Firebirds have been a dominant AHL team in the last few years and a part of that has to do with all of the coaching staff there which includes Campbell. This is also a huge part of why she is being considered for this position in the NHL with other members of the coaching staff. 

"I'm a big believer in just keeping a growth mindset every day. Obviously, my goal is to continue to coach at the highest level, but timelines aren't necessary for me and definitely not where my focus is," Campbell said days after joining Bylsma behind the bench in the preseason for the Kraken.

Whether Campbell follows Bylsma to the Kraken with a position under him or stays with the Firebirds to be the possible new head coach, She is a huge inspiration to women all over who want a key position in sports.

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