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Penguins’ Amanda Kessel Drafted or Becoming PWHL GM?



Pittsburgh Penguins, Amanda Kessel

The call to play professional hockey captured Amanda Kessel. Or did her front-office training as special assistant to the president of the Pittsburgh Penguins land her a front-office role in the increasingly popular Professional Women’s Hockey League?

Kessel, 32, was selected as a player in the seventh and final round of the 2024 PWHL Draft Monday. However, she may have additional options beyond playing.

The news was chaotic Monday after inaugural league champion Minnesota’s GM was fired in the days leading up to the draft. There are reports that Kessel was in talks to become the Minnesota GM.

Kessel likely would have been a much higher pick if not for her potential to become an executive. A Penguins source confirmed later Monday night after the selection that she was still with the Penguins.

The former Team USA star last played in 2022 but appears set to participate in the PWHL’s sophomore season in some capacity. She played with Team USA from 2012 through 2023, with a break from 2015 through 2016. She played for Team USA at the 2014, 2018, and 2022 Olympic Games, winning gold in 2018.

After a special executive program internship, the Penguins promoted her to special assistant to the president under Kyle Dubas last August.

The Montreal roster also includes Maria-Philip Poulin, widely considered the best women’s player in the world.

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