With the recent announcement of Rocanville's Jessica Campbell becoming the new assistant coach for the Seattle Kraken, the tides are turning in favour of women's sports. 

"Honestly, it's coming. The opportunities are growing and if you love your sport, work hard now so that you have an opportunity when you're older to pursue your sport," shared Megan LeBlanc.

Megan has been a part of the local hockey circuit in Estevan both as a player and a coach in minor hockey for quite some time. She welcomes Campbell's new position with the NHL team, and that it's a great look for women's sports. However, she expressed there's still a lot of work to be done to help inspire the next Natalie Spooner or Hailey Wickenheiser. She credits the creation of the Professional Women's Hockey League for supercharging that movement. 

"I think it's important to protect women's sports because, you know, there has to be opportunities to compete against women. So, for a smaller place like Estevan, I think it's important to protect women's sports programs in general, not even just in hockey, [but] the other sports too. Also just knowing [that] you have an opportunity to play pro and make money while you're playing, I think that alone is pretty good motivation for the younger generation."

LeBlanc said she's seen hockey culture shift in a positive direction. Younger hockey players have been talking about their favourite female hockey players, thanks to the growing popularity of the PWHL throughout the hockey sphere. "That scenario didn't happen back when I was growing up with minor hockey, so it's pretty cool to hear the young kids talking about that now."

In a press conference after the announcement of her new role, Jessica Campbell said that while she's humbled to be the first in her position, her focus is on the job and her impact to the team. "There's there's a lot to this game and to this job. So, I'm never taking for granted. I think the biggest thing is that I'm reminded often and it just puts a lot of meaning into the work. And I know that if the teams has success and that my impact is a good one, then [it] could potentially open up doors for others and open eyes for others to maybe think differently."

"Though I am honoured to be the first, I don't want to be the only and I honestly don't feel like I'm the only in this organization. That's also a very special feeling to be part of the Seattle Kraken organization and the staff. There's a long list of incredible women that are doing phenomenal jobs here in management, scouting, [and] player development, and so I'm just excited to do my part now behind the bench." -Jessica Campbell, assistant coach for the Seattle Kraken, on her new role and breaking barriers in the NHL. 

Seattle Kraken starts their season this year on October 8, where they'll be hosting the St. Louis Blues at Climate Pledge Arena.