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Firebirds’ Jessica Campbell makes NHL history as new assistant coach of Seattle Kraken

Former Firebirds assistant coach Jessica Campbell is making NHL history as its first full-time female assistant coach.

Campbell was hired as the assistant coach of the Seattle Kraken, joining former Firebirds' head coach Dan Bylsma's staff.

“During our tenure in Coachella Valley, I saw firsthand Jessica’s commitment to player development,” Bylsma said. “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.”

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Campbell spent two seasons on Bylsma’s coaching staff in Coachella Valley.

Under Campbell’s tutelage, the Firebirds led the AHL with 252 goals in 2023-24 and reached the Calder Cup Finals in consecutive seasons.

Prior to her tenure with Coachella Valley, Campbell worked as an assistant coach and skills coach for the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the DEL, the top men’s professional league in Germany, during the 2021-22 season. On an international level, Campbell served as an assistant coach for Team Germany at the 2022 IIHF World Championship where she worked alongside Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

Campbell played for four seasons (2010-11 to 2013-14) of collegiate hockey at Cornell University, captaining the team her senior year, before making her professional debut for the Calgary Inferno (2014-15 to 2016-17) of the CWHL and the Malmo Redhawks (2019-20) of the Division 1 league, the top women’s professional league in Sweden.

A native of Moosomin, Saskatchewan, she has represented Canada in international competition in several tournaments including the IIHF U18 World Junior Championships in 2009 and 2010 and the IIHF World Championship in 2015. She medaled in all three tournaments, winning silver in 2009 and 2015 and taking home gold in 2010 after leading all skaters in scoring and earning Most Valuable Player honors.

Campbell's hiring completes Byslma's coaching staff which includes fellow assistant coaches Bob Woods and Dave Lowry, as well as goaltending coach Steve Briere, video coach Tim Ohashi and video assistant Brady Morgan.

“This is an important day for our organization,” said Seattle 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.”

The Coachella Valley Firebirds have yet to announce a new head coach. Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on the Firebirds.

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