Campbell became the first woman to coach an NHL team, and was named an assistant coach to the Kraken.

Bylsma, who won a Stanley Cup as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, said he admires Campbell’s work ethic and ability to help young talent develop, citing forwards Ty Carty and Shane Wright and defenseman Ryker Evans as examples.

Carty opened his eyes after being called up during the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs. This season, the undrafted forward has recorded 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 77 regular-season games. Shane Wright, the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, has four goals in eight NHL games this season. Evans, 22, played in his first 36 NHL games last season and recorded nine points (one goal, eight assists).

“Over the last two years, working with Ty Carty, Shane Wright and Ryker Evans has been very clear,” Bylsma said. “I’ve been able to develop these players, develop them as people and most importantly, as hockey players. Jess will be working with the forwards and I’m very excited about that.”

Campbell will also work with the power play team, assisting veteran assistant Bob Woods, who was also hired Wednesday. The 56-year-old has been an NHL assistant for the Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres.

“With Jess Lee here, she’s going to be great,” Woods said. “I’ve only known her for a few days, but she’s good, she’s really good. She’s going to be very helpful to me.”

Seattle general manager Ron Francis first became aware of Campbell when she was working as an assistant coach for the men’s national team in Germany. Former NHL teammate Tom Rowe was also involved in the German program and recommended Campbell as someone who could teach skills and help behind the bench.

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Seizing the opportunity, Francis assigned her to the Coachella Valley and watched closely to see how she would handle the added responsibility and pressure.

To say he was impressed would be an understatement.

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch her work over the last couple of years,” Francis said. “It might not have been something she loved, but I sat in on some of the power play meetings she was doing, just to get a sense of how things were going. You know, she has a really good knowledge of the game, and a really good skill set on the development side as well. So I think the staff complements each other. And I think Dan has done a really good job of bringing it all together. We’re excited to see what the future holds for us.”

Campbell played four seasons of NCAA hockey for Cornell University and then played professionally in Canada and Sweden. She eventually became a skating and skills coach, building a client base that included several NHL players.

That’s when she started thinking about training. She wasn’t sure how it would happen, but she believed deep down that reaching that level was possible.

And now she’s here and she’s ready to seize the opportunity.

“Just believing that anything is possible,” Campbell said, “maybe in a naive way, I had the courage to believe that it was possible. Even though I didn’t see it, I believed I could do it. And I believe that with that inner belief, whatever it is, in sports, in life, you can create anything you believe in.”

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“I think what’s special and what I’m excited about here in Seattle, whether it’s a little girl or a little boy’s first game in the NHL, they’ll never see anything different from what they can become. And I’m happy to be able to play that role and envision that for young kids.”

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