When Jillian Dempsey was growing up in Winthrop, Mass., she set goals for her dream hockey career: play for her dream school, Harvard, and represent the U.S. in international competition. There were no professional hockey opportunities available to women, so the very idea of playing hockey for money did not factor into her long-term planning.
But now Dempsey is a professional hockey player, and one of the longest tenured players in the National Women’s Hockey League at that. The forward is in her fifth season with the league’s Boston Pride, who started 2019-20 with an 11-game unbeaten streak, and she leads the league in scoring with 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 18 games. Dempsey might not have ever dreamed of playing professional hockey, but she’s not only doing so, she’s trailblazing.
“It’s been amazing to continue playing the game that I love and to keep doing that in a competitive environment that’s growing,” said Dempsey. “It’s amazing to be able to impact the next generation and help inspire them to dream big and to want to play professionally as well.