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Engel-Natzke joins Caps, 1st woman to become NHL video coach

Engel-Natzke joins Caps, 1st woman to become NHL video coach

Emily Engel-Natzke stands on the bench in entrance of associate goaltending mentor Alex Westlund in the course of pregame warmups just before the Hershey Bears performed the Springfield Thunderbirds in an American Hockey League match on Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Hershey, Pa. Engel-Natzke was promoted from Hershey to movie coach of the Washington Capitals on Thursday, June 30, 2022, creating her the 1st woman to keep that placement in the National Hockey League. (Photo courtesy of the Hershey Bears through AP)


Emily Engel-Natzke needed to make the National Hockey League as a online video mentor.

When the Washington Capitals named Engel-Natzke video clip coordinator on Thursday, she not only attained that goal, but she also became the to start with female to hold a whole-time posture on an NHL coaching employees.

“I’ve hardly ever kind of seriously looked at myself in that lens, and I think if you could have requested me a 7 days ago, I would not have desired it to be a huge deal,” Engel-Natzke explained. “But with every thing that’s heading on kind of geopolitically, I think I’m much more so just honored to be, I guess, the initially. With any luck , that just opens the door even further more for men and women who want to get into this position and this career.”

It’s the newest in a series of promotions for girls all around the NHL in modern months just after a long time of gradual progress in diversifying the sport in the coaching and government ranks.

“This was attained and deserved,” coach Peter Laviolette stated. “We truly feel like we employed seriously a experienced particular person that we introduced into the corporation two many years back and came in and did an remarkable career, and that’s what progress is all about. For me, we received the most effective particular person and that’s the most important point.”

Engel-Natzke’s path to Washington started in earnest in 2017 when she commenced functioning as the full-time online video mentor for University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Tony Granato subsequent various a long time aiding with the men’s and women’s courses there.

“When she to start with came on, one particular of the thoughts I requested her is: ‘What do you want to do with this? Is this a whole-time gig for you? Is it something you want to test to go after at a diverse level?’” Granato stated. “And she reported, ‘Yep, I want to determine out how I can be the to start with lady to make it to the NHL on the video clip facet of items.’”

Engel-Natzke, 31, came from the Hershey Bears, Washington’s prime minor league affiliate, where she was the initially lady to be a entire-time member of a coaching employees in the American Hockey League.

Following actively playing two seasons of Division III hockey at Adrian College, Engel-Natzke got a major workload at Wisconsin to get ready her for the execs and then took one more stage in Hershey, presenting 5-on-5 scouting reviews of opponents and getting more involved in the working day-to-day operation of the workforce.

“She’s grown a lot in her situation, just to learn the skilled facet of the sport,” Bears VP of hockey operations Bryan Helmer explained. “Emily is a very hard employee that needs to master, and in the two several years she was below, she did that. She was often wanting to do much more than to add to the workforce in any which way she can to make us realize success.”

After understanding about her from longtime Capitals video mentor Brett Leonhardt, Helmer, like Laviolette, stated Hershey hired Engel-Natzke based mostly off experience and her job interview. “You take her name off her resume and put any title, she was qualified,” he claimed.

Engel-Natzke’s hire will come on the heels of the Chicago Blackhawks selling Meghan Hunter to assistant standard manager and the New Jersey Devils advertising and marketing Meghan Duggan to director of player enhancement. Hunter became the fourth woman to be named an assistant GM, becoming a member of Vancouver’s Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato as ladies currently in that task.

“It is been truly encouraging that you are viewing gals in various roles, no matter whether it is in coaching, no matter whether it is in management, athletic teaching and products administration,” Engel-Natzke said. “Hopefully the doorway just keeps opening a tiny bit additional and I hope in a couple a long time it’s not as huge of a deal — it’s form of just yet another employ.”

Engel-Natzke has been in the league’s coaching combine for some time now soon after getting part in the NHL Coaches Association’s Feminine Coaches Growth Software. Winnipeg Jets associate mentor Jamie Kompon termed Engel-Natzke super knowledgeable and explained movie coach Matt Prefontaine raved about the position she was executing in Hershey.

Coaches Association president Lindsay Artkin advised The Connected Push she was thrilled for Engel-Natzke’s new position.

“Emily’s been a element of the NHLCA Female Coaches Advancement Application given that its inception, and with a single of the major objectives staying to guidance women that aspire to mentor in the NHL, I couldn’t be happier that we have damaged that barrier,” Artkin stated. “Emily is the initially but undoubtedly not the final. I just cannot wait to see what’s ahead for her and other girls that want to mentor in the NHL. There genuinely is no limit.”


AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed.


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