Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Engel-Natzke Joins Caps, First Woman To Be NHL Video Coach

Emily Engel-Natzke wanted the National Hockey League to be a video coach.

When the Washington Capitals named Engel-Natzke video coordinator Thursday, she not only accomplished that goal, but she also became the first woman to hold a full-time position on the NHL coaching staff.

“I’ve never really seen myself in that lens, and I guess if you had asked me a week earlier, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be a big deal,” Engel-Natzke said. “But with all that is happening geopolitically, I feel more respected, I think, first. Hopefully it will open even more doors for people who want to do this job and this job.” I want to get into the profession.”

This NHL . is the latest in a series of promotions for women around In recent months after decades of slow progress in diversifying the sport in coaching and executive ranks.

“It was earned and deserved,” said coach Peter LaViolet. “We feel like we’ve hired a really qualified person that we brought into the organization two years ago and came in and did an excellent job, and that’s what growth is all about. For me, we need to be the best person.” Got it and that’s the most important thing.”

Engel-Natzke’s path to Washington began in 2017, when he began working as a full-time video coach for University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Tony Granato, after several years assisting in men’s and women’s programs there. .

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“When she first came over, I asked her a question: ‘What do you want to do with this? Is this a full-time gig for you? Is this something you want to try to pursue on a different level? ‘” Granato said. “And she said, ‘Yeah, I want to find out how I can be the first woman to make it to the NHL on the video side of things.

Engel-Natzke, 31, came from the Hershey Bears, Washington’s top minor league affiliate, where she was the first woman to become a full-time member of a coaching staff in the American Hockey League.

After playing two seasons of Division III hockey at Adrian College, Engel-Natzke put a heavy workload in Wisconsin to prepare him for the pros and then took another move at Hershey, the opponents’ 5-on-5 scouting reports. Introduced and more joined. Day-to-day operations of the team.

“She’s moved a lot in her position to learn the professional side of the game,” said Brian Helmer, the Bears’ VP of hockey operations. “Emily is a very hard worker who wants to learn, and in the two years she was here, she did. She always wanted to do more than just contribute to the team, do whatever she could to make us successful. “

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After learning about her from longtime Capitals video coach Brett Leonhardt, Helmer, like Laviolette, said that Hershey hired Engel-Natzke based on experience and interviews with him. “You take her name off her resume and put in any name she deserved,” he said.

Engel-Natzke hire comes on the heels of Chicago Blackhawks promoting Meghan Hunter Assistant General Manager promoting Meghan Duggan and for the New Jersey Devils To the director of player development. Hunter became the fourth woman to be named an assistant GM, joining Emily Castongue and Cammy Granato of Vancouver as women currently in that job.

“It’s really encouraging that you’re seeing women in different roles, whether it’s in coaching, whether it’s in management, athletic training and equipment management,” Engel-Natzke said. “Hopefully the door will keep opening just a little bit more and I expect it won’t be that big a deal in a few years – it’s just another rental.”


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