“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Engel-Natzke said Thursday in a telephone interview. “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.”
Engel-Natzke replaces Jared Elenberger, who is now Washington’s video coordinator. Elenberger replaces Tim Ohashi, who was hired to be the Seattle Kraken’s head video analyst in October.
“Her experience level working at Wisconsin and working with the coaching staff she did there with Tony Granato gives you a lot of comfort that she will have an understanding of what a coach at the pro level will be looking for,” Chris Patrick, Washington’s director of player personnel, said of Engel-Natzke. “Video coaches at the AHL level, they are developing still in their careers. … Her experience level and technical acumen were pretty high, especially for this position where you can get a broad range of candidates.”
Engel-Natzke picked up hockey in middle school and continued to play recreationally in college at the University of Colorado, where she majored in film studies. Winding up on a coaching staff in the NHL was her end goal.
Engel-Natzke and her wife, Spencer, plan to move to the Hershey area after the holidays. The AHL announced in late October that its board of governors had approved moving the anticipated start date of the 2020-21 season to Feb. 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL is still targeting a Jan. 1 start date.
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