Photo by: Michael Hetzel
“I’m proud to say I play in the NWHL,” said Johnston. “It’s providing a great stepping stone for female sports – especially female hockey – and it’s a humbling experience to be part of the foundation. Every year the Riveters have been more and more active in the community and in grassroots efforts. The league is really starting to catch fire. I’m looking forward to continuing that effort and supporting the league as it grows. Most importantly though, I’m looking forward to bringing Isobel to New York and New Jersey.”
In 35 games with the Riveters over the first two seasons of the NWHL, the 6-foot shutdown defender nicknamed “Stretch” had three goals and 8 assists for 11 points. She played 130 games over four years at Union College. Johnston was a candidate for the NCAA’s Hockey Humanitarian of the Year Award in her senior year and an ECAC All-Academic team selection in three of her four years at Union. Previously, the Burlington, Ontario native played youth hockey for the Ancaster Avalanche and Burlington Barracudas.
In addition to playing in the NWHL, Johnston is an engineer at Albany-based Precision Valve and Automation, which makes conformal coating robots. She was featured earlier this year on the Star Talk Radio podcast, discussing the physics of hockey.
The 2017-18 NWHL regular season is set to begin in October, featuring founding four franchises Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters playing a full slate of home games as well as neutral site games. The NWHL compensates all players and offers a revenue share on player jerseys and shirseys.
About Ashley Johnston:
Career: “I work at Precision Valve and Automation (PVA), an Albany-based company that makes conformal coating robots. I worked for a while managing manufacturing processes and now am managing a hybrid role of training and customer testing components of the robots.”
Coaching: “In 2015, I started my own hockey school in Albany for high school aged girls over the summer. They go on the ice two times a week for twelve weeks. This year, I am also coaching the New Jersey Colonials U16 team, which I’m really excited about”!
Self-Scouting Report: “I play a stay-at-home style of defense that focuses on positioning. I love playing as an aggressive shutdown-style D. Ultimately, I just work hard. I’m not a flashy D who will go end to end, but instead try to consistently execute the little plays that make a big difference. Things like winning the 1-on-1 battles, good breakout passes, and heads-up positioning.”
Admired Hockey Player: “PK Subban. I love how he plays the game with so much passion.”
Admired Athlete: “Clara Hughes is a Canadian speed skater who had a huge influence on me. She came to a leadership conference that I attended in high school and gave an awesome presentation. It really hit home for me about overcoming adversity, setting and achieving your goals, and believing in yourself.”
Favorites in Pop Culture: “I am a die-hard Star Wars fan. Every time I watch the series, I become more and more obsessed.”
On Union College: “Union was a great experience for me both academically and athletically. In a four-year span I learned so much from Claudia Asano-Barcomb and Ali Boe and really have to attribute all of my game to them. They were both exceptionally patient in coaching me, spending hours with video and extra skills. Academically, I was paired with an incredible academic advisor who also took so much time to help me excel in the classroom. At Union, I really ‘found’ myself as a person and found a home. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.”
Photo by: Troy Parla