Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.), a 14-time medalist on the international stage whose U.S. Women’s National Team career spanned 15 seasons, is one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s ice hockey in the United States.
Highlighting her career were four appearances in the Olympic Winter Games, including helping Team USA to a gold medal at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. She is one of only three U.S. women’s players to compete in four Olympics. Further, her 32 career points (11G, 21A) in Olympic competition are tops in U.S. history and second in the overall Olympic record books.
Potter began her career with the U.S. Women’s National Team Program in 1997 during the lead-up to her first Olympics in 1998, where at 19 years-old, she contributed five points (2G, 3A) in helping the U.S. earn the first-ever gold medal awarded in women’s hockey in the Olympics.
Just a year later, Potter led the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship with 12 points (5G, 7A) in five games, earning her the Directorate Award for best forward and a spot on the Media All-Star Team. She played a key role in helping the U.S. capture its first-ever gold medal in the IIHF Women’s World Championships in 2005 as she registered six points (2G, 4A) in five games. During the U.S. gold medal run at the 2008 IIHF Women’s World Championship, she was named one of Team USA’s top three players and ranked second on the team with seven points. Potter went on to also help the U.S. to gold medals at the world championship in 2009 and 2011. All total, her 10 medals in world championship play are tied for the most-ever by a U.S. Women’s National Team player.
In her other Olympic appearances, Potter recorded seven points (1G, 6A) in helping the U.S. to a silver medal in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and had nine points (2G, 7A) in a bronze medal effort at the 2006 Torino Games. In her final Olympic appearance at the 2010 Vancouver Games, she had a team-leading six goals and her 11 points co-led the squad in helping the U.S. to a silver medal. She was named to the Media All-Star Team and later that season earned honors as USA Hockey’s Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year.
Potter, who also participated in 10 Three/Four Nations Cups during her time with the U.S. Women’s National Team, finished her career with 237 points (101G, 136A) in 204 games played.
The mastery she displayed on the international stage transitioned with ease from her prolific collegiate career, which included recognition as an All-American in each of her four campaigns. Potter played one season with the University of Minnesota (1998-89) before finishing her final three years with the University of Minnesota Duluth (1999-00/2002-04).
The two-time WCHA Player of the Year was a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and also a three-time All-WCHA First Team selection. She helped the Bulldogs to the 2003 NCAA national championship, a year in which the team also earned both the WCHA regular-season and playoff titles. She averaged over two points a game in her three-year UMD career, finishing with a school-record 256 points (108G, 148A) in 102 games played. Potter was inducted into the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.
Potter also played professionally, including four seasons with the Minnesota Whitecaps (2006-09/10-11) and one year with the Boston Blades (2014-15). She helped the Whitecaps win the Western Women’s Hockey League championship in 2008-09, a year in which she tallied 36 points (16G, 20A) in 19 games and earned league MVP honors.
Upon her retirement as a player, Potter went on to coach nine years of high school hockey in Minnesota, served as head coach for two seasons at Trinity College and one season at Ohio State University.
She continues to share her love and passion for the sport today, serving as a member of USA Hockey’s board of directors; as president and head coach of the Northeast Wisconsin Hockey Association; and as chief executive officer of Potter Performance Group/Jenny Potter Hockey.