Emily Engel-Natsuke wanted to create the National Hockey League as a video coach.
When Washington Capitals appointed Engel-Natsuke Video Coordinator on Thursday, she not only achieved that goal, but also became the first woman to hold a full-time position in the NHL coaching staff. became.
"I've never seen myself with that lens. If I might have asked me a week ago, I didn't want it to be a big deal. Let's do it, "said Engel-Natsuke. "But given all that is happening geopolitically, I think I'm very honored to be the first. Hopefully it wants to get this job and this profession. It just opens the door for those who are. "
This is the NHL in the last few months after decades of slow sports diversification in coaching and executive ranks." The latest in the series of promotions for women around 51}.
"This has been won and deserves it," said Peter Raviolet. "I feel like I hired a really talented person who brought it to the organization two years ago and joined the company and did a great job. That's all about development. For me, we have the best people. That's the most important thing. ”
Engel-Natzke's road to Washington began in earnest In 2017, when he began working as a full-time video coach for Tony Granato, a male hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin, there for several years for boys. And supported the girls' program.
"When she first came, one of the questions I asked her was," What do you want to do with this? Is this a full-time gig for you? Another Do you want to pursue at the level of? "Granat said. "And she said,'Yeah, I want to know how I can be the first woman to reach the NHL in terms of video.'"
Engel-Natzke, 31, Hershey Bears, a top affiliate in the Washington minor league, was the first woman to become a full-time member of the American Hockey League coaching staff.
After playing two seasons of Division III hockey at Adrian University, Engel-Natsuke did a heavy job preparing for a professional at Wisconsin and released the next 5 to 5 scout report at Hershey. Did. She becomes more involved in the day-to-day work of her opponents and teams.
"She has grown a lot in her own position just to learn the professional side of her game," said Hockey's Vice President of Operations. One Brian Helmer said. "Emily is a very hardworking worker who wants to learn and in the two years she was here she did it. She always did it in the best possible way to make us successful. I wanted to do more than contribute to the team. ”
After learning about her from longtime Capitals video coach Brett Leonhardt, Helmer, like Raviolet, experienced and she. He said he hired Engel Natsuke based on his interview. "You remove her name from her resume and give her any name, she was qualified for her," he said.
Engel-Natzke's adoption is Chicago Blackhawks promotes Megan Hunter to Deputy General Manager, New Jersey Devils promotes Megan Dougan to Player Development Director It was after I let him. .. Hunter became the fourth woman to be nominated as Assistant GM, and she has joined Emily Castongeye and Cammi Granato in Vancouver as women who are currently engaged in the job.
"It's really encouraging to see women in different roles such as coaching, management, exercise training and equipment management," said Engel-Natzke. "Hopefully the door will stay a little more open. I hope it's not that big of a deal within a few years. It's a kind of another employment."
Engel- Natzke has been in the league's coaching mix for some time after participating in the NHL Coach Association's Women's Coach Development Program. Winnipeg Jets associate coach Jamie Kompon called her very familiar with Engel Natsuke, and video coach Matt Prefontaine praised her work at Hershey. Said.
Coach Association President Lindsay Artkin told The Associated Press that she was excited about Engel Natsuke's new position.
"Emily has been in the NHLCA Women's Coach Development Program since its inception and we cannot be happy with one of our main goals being to support women who want to become coaches at the NHL. It broke that barrier, "Artkin said. "Emily is the first, but she's certainly not the last. She can't wait for her and other women who want to coach at the NHL. There's really no limit."