NWHL: The New League in Town

hilary knight nwhl

In its inaugural season, the four-team NWHL has turned to a familiar face to usher in an exciting era for women's pro hockey.

Hilary Knight had what she called an "unreal" experience when she scored the first goal in Boston Pride history, in October. Knight, 26, is the fledgling NWHL's star player. She has won two silver medals with the U.S. Olympic team and was the MVP of the 2015 world championships. SI Kids spoke to Knight about the NWHL, her biggest blooper, and her strong Instagram game.

WHEN I HEARD THERE WAS GOING TO BE A NATIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY LEAGUE, I WAS...
like, There's no way. There's no way someone just spent the time organizing this thing. There's rarely a chance when the stars align. Disbelief, but, at the same time, extreme excitement.

MY PROUDEST MOMENTS AS AN ATHLETE ARE...
when [I wear] the U.S. jersey. It's [a] magical feeling.

MY FAVORITE OLYMPIC MOMENT WAS...
my first Olympic Games, skating out for warmups. I remember having this crazy-wild smile of excitement and just joy leaking out of my body on my face and thinking, "Hilary, pretend you've been here before. Try not to smile too much, you're giving away that this is the best moment of your life!"

hilary knight nwhl

WHEN I'M NOT ON THE ICE, I'M...
paddleboarding. I'll try a lot of different outdoor activities. I like to mountain bike. And then in the winter, I'm trying to stay warm. I love going to the movies, and getting coffee is one of my favorite things I do daily, hanging out with friends and catching up.

PEOPLE SAY I REMIND THEM OF...
the NHL's Peter Forsberg (retired), Ryan Getzlaf (Ducks) or Alex Ovechkin (Capitals). I don't know where these comparisons are coming from! But I'll take it!

MY SILLIEST HOCKEY BLOOPER WAS WHEN I...
forgot to bring my stick out for a game. The U.S. team was on tour [last] year. We were playing a guys' team, and a guy leaned over the bench and said, "Hey, you forget something?" I tried to play it off like I left it on the bench, but I totally forgot it.

IF ONE OF MY TEETH GOT KNOCKED OUT, I...
would just keep playing. If there was a stoppage, I'd grab my tooth and give it to our trainer and see the dentist later.

hilary knight nwhl

MY COOLEST INSTAGRAM PHOTO WAS...
I'd like to think all my Instagram photos are works of art, with all those filters. [Either] one of my brothers and me, or an Olympic one.

MY GOAL FOR WOMEN'S HOCKEY IN THE U.S. IS...
to see it on TV. I'd love for it to be a full-time career if someone wants to play after college, that they're able to do that and pursue something they love.


Photos: COURTESY OF NWHL (KNIGHT WITH THE PRIDE), PETR DAVID JOSEK/AP (KNIGHT ON TEAM USA), INSTAGRAM (KNIGHT IN SOCHI) 

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