Kraken coach, Jessica Campbell

Kraken Coach Jessica Campbell Breaks New Ground

New Kraken Coach

It should come as no surprise; she’s earned it. Jessica Campbell became the first full-time female assistant coach in NHL history when the Seattle Kraken officially named her to the position on Wednesday.

“I’m humbled, obviously, to be in this position,” Campbell stated. “You speak to the word first, to be the first, but that’s never really been where my focus is. It’s always on the work, it’s on the impact, it’s on the job.”

Diversity, thinking outside the box, has been a Kraken organizational staple since the get go. In this case they’re simply going with the person whom they feel is best for the job. An accomplished college player prior to joining the coaching ranks, Campbell spent the last two seasons as Kraken head coach Dan Bylsma’s assistant in Coachella Valley with the Firebirds of the AHL.

“Jessica and I spent the last two years coaching in Coachella Valley,” said Bylsma. “I’m confident of what she can do for our staff and bring to the players. I watched her build strong relationships with prospects such as Tye Kartye, Shane Wright and Ryker Evans. She has the ability to relate to players about their games and what they bring to a team.”

Campbell previously coached in the top men’s German League and has been a successful independent skating and skills mentor to NHL players.

New Trends

There are woman who have risen to assistant general manager positions around the NHL, including former Kraken scout and present Vancouver Canucks executive Cammi Granato. Now a woman will stand night-to-night behind an NHL bench.

It’s high profile. Many eyes will be on her. One might even call Campbell a beacon (noun: – bē-kən – “a source of light or inspiration”). She’s fully aware of the potential impact she could have on others that may follow her.

“Just to believe anything is possible,” Campbell said. “I’ve, maybe in a naïve way, had the courage to believe that this could be possible. And even though I didn’t see it, I believed I could do it. I think with that inner belief, whatever it is, in sport, in life, you can create whatever you believe in.

“I’m happy to be able to play that role.”

Earlier Kraken:

— NHL Draft: Kraken Made The Right Pick

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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