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Kraken make history by adding Campbell to coaching staff


The Seattle Kraken made history on Wednesday by hiring Jessica Campbell as an assistant coach.

"With the hiring, Campbell becomes the first full-time female assistant coach in NHL history to work behind the bench during the regular season," the Kraken said in a news release. 

Bob Woods is also joining Dan Bylsma’s coaching staff in Seattle, which includes assistant Dave Lowry, goaltending coach Steve Briere, video coach Tim Ohashi and video assistant Brady Morgan. 

“This is an important day for our organization,” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis. “We’re bringing in valuable coaching experience to our staff and are confident that both Bob and Jessica will make an immediate impact for our team.”

For the past two seasons, the 32-year-old Campbell served as an assistant under Bylsma for the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League. 

“During our tenure in Coachella Valley, I saw firsthand Jessica’s commitment to player development,” said Bylsma, who was hired by the Kraken this off-season. “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.”

Coachella Valley qualified for the Calder Cup Finals in each of the past two seasons, losing to the Hershey Bears each time. 

Before her time in the AHL, Campbell worked as an assistant coach and skills coach for the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the DEL, a top level men's hockey league in Germany. In 2022, she served as an assistant for Team Germany at the IIHF World Championship. 

A native of Moosomin, Sask., Campbell played four seasons at Cornell University before joining the professional ranks with the Calgary Inferno (2014-15 to 2016-17) of the CWHL and the Malmo Redhawks (2019-20) of the Division 1 league in Sweden. 

Campbell has represented Canada at numerous international events, highlighted by winning the gold medal at the World U18 Championship in 2010 and silver at the 2015 World Women's Championship.