Jillian Dempsey, who shares the NWHL all-time lead in goals and is second in points, has re-signed to continue her illustrious career with the Boston Pride.
Dempsey has made a name for herself in four seasons with the Pride, tying for the league record in goals with 29 (with Madison Packer of the Riveters). Her 58 points rank her second all-time behind U.S. Olympian and former Pride teammate Brianna Decker. In the league’s first season, Dempsey helped lead the Pride to the Isobel Cup in 2016.
“I love being part of the NWHL’s growth,” said Dempsey. “The league has given me an opportunity to continue playing the game I love professionally and to coach young girls who have the same dreams and passion for the sport. Seeing young fans wearing Boston jerseys and cheering on the other side of the glass is one of my favorite parts of every game. It has been incredible to watch the Boston Pride fan base expand each season, especially with the Bruins partnership. The NWHL has played a significant role in the growth of women’s professional hockey, and I am excited to continue my career on the Boston Pride this coming season.”
In addition to playing professional hockey and coaching young players, Dempsey is a Grade 5 teacher at the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School in her hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts.
Boston’s captain for the past two seasons, Dempsey has provided steadfast leadership, becoming the league’s first two-time recipient of the Denna Laing Award. Each year, the award honors the player who most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to her sport.
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This past season, Dempsey tied for the team lead with 10 goals, a career high, and totaled 14 points in 17 games. She was selected to play in the NWHL All-Star Game in the last two seasons and, in 2018, was a member of Team NWHL for its two-game series against the U.S. Olympic Team.
Asked if there are areas of her game she continues to develop, Dempsey said, “Practicing accuracy and quick release of my shot is something I work on the most. I also work on power-skating, stickhandling, and faceoffs. I try to focus on the little details consistently, and I’m committed to improving every aspect of my game each season.”
Dempsey’s success has carried over from her time at Harvard, where she produced at more than a point-per-game pace, recording 148 points (76-72-148) in 129 games. As a junior, she was nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Award, was a finalist for ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and was a unanimous First-Team All-Ivy League selection.
She continued to rake in the accolades as a senior, as she was named a Patty Kazmaier finalist and a First-Team All-ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy selection. She spent two seasons with the CWHL’s Boston Blades before joining the Pride.
“It’s hard to believe that I’m going into my fifth season with the Pride,” said Dempsey. “I love being from Boston! Each major sports team has won at least one championship in my lifetime, which has been an incredibly special experience for me as a sports fan. Watching the Bruins’ Stanley Cup playoff run this year definitely made me even more excited and eager for the season and for another chance to compete for the Isobel Cup.”