Capitals organization hires its first female assistant coach

Emily Engel-Natzke joins the organization after 5 seasons with the University of Wisconsin.

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This just in, the Washington Capitals have announced that their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears have hired former University of Wisconsin coach Emily Engel-Natzke as the Bears' new video coach.

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The 29 year old Engel-Natzke coached previously at the University of Wisconsin, where she was the assistant director of operations/video coordinator. She worked with both the men’s and women’s hockey teams at Wisconsin from 2015-17. Since 2017, she only worked with the men’s team. With her hiring, Engel-Natzke becomes the first female coach in the Capitals franchise history. She joins Arizona Coyotes skating coach Dawn Braid and Toronto Maple Leafs skills consultant and legendary Team Canada women's player Hayley Wickenheiser as the only female coaches employed by NHL or AHL clubs. Here's hoping that this is a trend that continues. The more women involved in the frontlines of the sport, the more little girls are going to be interested in taking it up either recreationally or competitively. 

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Engel-Natzke said Thursday in a telephone interview with the Washington Post's Samantha Pell. “It’s something I’ve really worked towards and wanted to do for a long time and everything just kind of seemed to fall into place. I don’t know if the right time is the right word, but with everything else going on, everything just fell into place.

“I’m really excited, I’m really honored that they felt like I would be a good fit for their organization and it really is just a dream come true to make that step.”

"We're excited to welcome Emily as our new video coach," said Hershey vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer. "She impressed in the interview process, and we feel the passion and detail in her work, along with her skill set and experience, will make her the perfect person to join our talented coaching staff and add to our rich history and tradition." 

"Emily possesses the necessary experience, skill set and work ethic and will be a tremendous addition to the Hershey Bears and the Capitals organization," said Capitals director of player personnel Chris Patrick. "We feel that she will complement the Bears coaching staff to continue to create a winning culture and help develop our prospects in Hershey."