After pro season in Switzerland, Select grad Wuthrich taking year off to coach with 14ers in ’23-24
Emma Wuthrich has quite literally traveled the world to play hockey.
An Alaska native, Wuthrich moved to Colorado when she was 14 and later called Vermont and Massachusetts home for various levels of the game.
Last year, she played her first professional season in Switzerland and will sit out the 2023-24 season as she coaches with the Colorado 14ers girls hockey program.
“After growing up and living in Alaska for 14 years, going into my freshman year of high school, my family moved due to my dad taking a new job based out of Colorado,” Wuthrich said. “From the start, I played boys hockey and had yet to transition to girls hockey. Our move to Colorado presented the perfect time to make the switch. There weren’t many options for girls hockey programs in Colorado but eventually landed on the Select because it was the closest team to where I lived.
“My first season in Colorado and playing girls hockey ended up being very important to me as it gave me an introduction to what girls hockey was like and led me to make important connections in the hockey world. My coaches during that season were Eric Mayhew and his sister Kerry Mayhew, who are still involved and positively contribute to Colorado girls hockey. I also met Hannah Westbrook that year who is now an integral part of growing the game within Colorado. After that first year in Colorado, I would train on the ice with Hannah a few times a week during the summer, which helped immensely in growing my hockey skills and prepared me for each upcoming season.”
One year later, Wuthrich was on the move again.
“Per NCAA rules at the time, college coaches could not contact players until Jan. 1 of their sophomore year,” explained Wuthrich. “After my freshman year at Select, I decided to go to NAHA (North American Hockey Academy), located in Stowe, Vt. At NAHA, we traveled to tournaments almost every single weekend where college coaches would come to scout. I talked to several coaches from my sophomore-senior years, but it wasn’t until my junior year I began communications with Boston University. I eventually visited the campus and met the coaches and fell in love with the school and knew that was where I wanted to play for the next four years. Due to BU’s high academic standards, I needed to meet testing requirement scores on my ACT/SAT. For an entire year, I studied for the tests and had a tutor to help me get the score I needed to get into BU. The coaching staff was patient and forgiving with me during that year of testing and I officially committed the the school right as my senior year of high school began.”
Once she laced up the skates for the NCAA Division I Terriers, it was all systems go for Wuthrich.
“The highlight that stands out the most was during my freshman year when we won the Beanpot during the 2018-19 season,” Wuthrich said. “This was the first time in program history as a varsity D-I team that we had won so it was a special moment for our team and school.”
The Beanpot is a historical tournament held in Boston between Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern that happens during the first two Tuesdays in February.
Wuthrich received her degree in Advertising from the College of Communications as well as a minor in Hospitality Administration from the School of Hospitality.
After graduating, it was on to the next adventure, this time in Lugano, Switzerland.
“The biggest adjustment overseas wasn’t necessarily related to hockey but living in an entirely different country with a different culture and different language in Switzerland,” Wuthrich said. “I learned so many things living abroad and got to travel and experience things that I never would’ve been able to without hockey which I am extremely grateful for. As for hockey, practices were held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights with games on the weekends. The team mainly spoke Italian as Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, so adjusting to that was difficult, but I made Google Translate my best friend. We traveled to away games on your typical coach buses and got to see beautiful scenery around Switzerland.
“Women’s hockey in Switzerland is still developing and growing so coming from NCAA D-I hockey to the Swiss league was a smooth transition. Overall, the season was very fun and left me with so many great memories and relationships.”
For the 2023-24 season, Wuthrich will be an assistant coach for the Colorado 14ers’ 14U team.
“After the season ends, I will reevaluate and see if I want to play again in a U.S. league,” said Wuthrich. “Hockey has given me so many special and rare opportunities, so I would love to keep playing, whether it’s professionally or just for fun. There is no set timeline on when I plan to stop being involved with the game.”
— Matt Mackinder
(August 22, 2023)