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Meet Émilie Castonguay, Canada's only female NHLPA-certified hockey agent

Émilie Castonguay is a name on the rise in the hockey world: she is the only female NHLPA certified hockey agent in Canada. 

Castonguay, a former hockey player, got her law degree after discovering her passion for players' rights

Émilie Castonguay, 34, says even though she's the first of her kind here in Canada, she is hopeful it won't be that way for long. (Submitted by Émilie Castonguay)

Émilie Castonguay is a name on the rise in the hockey world. She is the only female NHLPA certified hockey agent in Canada. 

She works for Momentum Hockey, serving as their director of legal affairs and hockey operations. Even though she's the first of her kind here in Canada, she is hopeful it won't be that way for long. 

More women are contacting Castonguay for advice on how to get into the business, which she believes is a good sign.

"When I reached out to be a hockey agent, a lot of people told me, they've never seen this before. We've never had a girl ask us to see what it was like to be an agent and to start doing some scouting." 

Castonguay is a former player herself. She played NCAA Division 1 hockey at the Niagara University in the United States for four years. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in finance.
Émilie Castonguay played NCAA Division 1 hockey at the Niagara University in the United States for four years. She then discovered her passion for players' rights. (Submitted by Émilie Castonguay)
She initially aspired to be an NHL general manager but after an internship with Pierre Gauthier, who was with the Montreal Canadiens at the time, she realized she was more passionate about players' rights. That led her back to school to get a law degree from l'Université de Montréal.

Despite being the only woman at the table, Castonguay felt welcomed by those around her and believes her hockey background has helped prove herself. 

"Knowledge is power. Once you start talking hockey and they see you know what you're talking about it then just becomes about business." 

One of the 34-year-old's biggest clients is a player who isn't even in the NHL yet — junior hockey star for the Rimouski Océanic, Alexis Lafrenière.

He is set to be the next franchise player in the NHL and is expected to be selected first overall in the 2020 draft. 

Having Castonguay's name attached to such a high profile player could help inspire the next generation of female hockey agents in this country. 

"I'm hoping that it has a positive impact and that other women can come into this business and realize that they can be successful." 

Castonguay pointed out that basketball great Michael Jordan was represented by a woman, Estee Portnoy, for his entire career. She admits that hockey is a little behind in this industry but is optimistic about the future.


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Close up on Gender is a CBC Montreal series for radio, web and television. You'll hear from Montrealers who are sharing their stories, or thinking and acting differently when it comes to gender in 2019.

About the Author

Jessica Rusnak is a sports journalist for CBC Daybreak.

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