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Jessica Campbell made history on Wednesday by becoming the first full-time female assistant coach in National Hockey League (NHL) history. She was announced by the Seattle Kraken, marking a significant milestone in the world of professional ice hockey.

Career Background

Campbell, 32, joined the Kraken franchise in 2022 as an assistant coach for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Coachella Valley Firebirds, Seattle’s minor league affiliate. She was the first woman appointed to a full-time assistant coaching role in the AHL and now continues her trailblazing journey in the NHL.

Reaction and Impact

Expressing her feelings about the new role, Campbell said, “I’m humbled to be in the role. Though I am honored to be the first, I don’t want to be the only. It’s always about the work, the impact, and the job.” She emphasized the importance of being part of the Seattle Kraken organization and standing alongside other remarkable women in the league.

Support from the Kraken

New Kraken head coach Dan Bylsma, who worked with Campbell in Coachella Valley, praised her abilities and contributions. “Jessica and I spent the last two years coaching in Coachella Valley. I’m confident in what she can do for our staff and bring to the players,” Bylsma said. He highlighted her ability to build strong relationships with prospects and her skill in helping players develop their games.

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Playing and Coaching Career

Campbell is a former forward who played college hockey with the Cornell Big Red and professionally in Canada and Sweden. After retiring, she transitioned into coaching and worked under Bylsma with the Firebirds, helping guide the team to back-to-back appearances in the Calder Cup, the AHL’s championship series.

Seattle Kraken’s Changes

Campbell’s hiring is part of broader changes behind the Seattle benches. Dan Bylsma was appointed head coach in May, replacing Dave Hakstol, after the Kraken finished last season with a 34-35-13 record, missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Alongside Campbell, Bob Woods, an 11-year assistant coaching veteran, was also hired to the same position.

The Kraken’s Journey

The Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s newest team, was founded as an expansion franchise and joined the league for the 2021-22 season. The team has reached the playoffs once in its short history, notably upsetting the defending champion Colorado Avalanche in the first round before losing to the Dallas Stars in the 2022-23 season.


Jessica Campbell’s appointment as the first full-time female assistant coach in NHL history is a groundbreaking achievement. Her dedication, experience, and impact on the sport continue to inspire and pave the way for future generations of women in hockey.(Superace88)