Jenny Potter to be enshrined in U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Potter is the sole female in the Class of 2020

Minnesota native and Team USA legend Jenny (née Schmidgall) Potter will be enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020, USA Hockey announced Monday.

Potter spent 15 seasons in a Team USA jersey, including four trips to the Olympics. She is one of three US women’s players to make four Olympics squads, and is the top points scorer in US history at Olympics games with 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists). She has one gold medal from 1998 and three silver medals from 2002, 2006, and 2010.

She was only 19 when she played in her first Olympics, where she scored two goals and had three assists. Her next three Games saw Potter post more and more points, capping her Olympic career in Vancouver in 2010 with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points.

Potter played in 10 World Championships tournaments, winning four gold medals and six silver medals. She is tied for the most-ever World Championship medals won by a U.S Women’s National Team player. At Worlds, she averaged 1.22 points per game with 23 goals and 38 assists in 50 games

Including 10 Three/Four Nations Cup tournaments, Potter had 237 points over her 204 National Team career, scoring 101 goals and adding 136 assists.

She racked up the points in the WCHA as well, playing a single season at the University of Minnesota in 1998-99 before transferring to Minnesota-Duluth for the 1999-2000 and 2002-04 seasons. Potter missed two college seasons due to the birth of her first child in January 2001 and then the 2002 Olympic cycle, according to her Team USA bio.

As a Gopher in the 1998-99 season, she led the team with 71 points in 32 games. After she transferred to Duluth for the 1999-2000 season, she potted 41 goals with 52 assists for an insane 93 goals in 32 games, leading the nation and her team. She was named a Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award that season as well.

Potter’s return to NCAA play saw her return to form, putting up 88 points in 2002-03, good for third in the nation and first on Duluth. The Bulldogs won the NCAA Championship that season and Potter was a Top 3 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. In 2002-3, she had 75 points in 2003-04, good for third in the nation and second on Duluth, and was once again a Top 3 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award.

After college, she played for four seasons on the Minnesota Whitecaps in the Western Women’s Hockey League (2006-09, 2010-11), after her father and Jack Brodt founded the team in 2004. She also played in six games for the Boston Blades in 2014-15.

She retired following that season and went on to coach women’s hockey at the high school level in Minnesota for nine years and at the college level for three years. She coached at Trinity College (Division III) for two seasons and at Ohio State for one season.

Potter will be the seventh individual women’s hockey player among the 187 enshrined members in the Hall. She’ll join Krissy Wendell (2019), Natalie Darwitz (2018), Angela Ruggiero (2015), Karyn Bye Dietz (2014), Cindy Curley (2013) and Cammi Granato (2008) in the Hall. The 1998 Olympic team was enshrined as a whole in 2009, which included Ruggiero, Bye Dietz, and Granato as well as Potter.

The Class of 2020 also included Dean Blais, Tony Granato, and Jerry York.

USA Hockey accepts nominations from anyone before a selection committee reviews and votes on the next class. According to USA Hockey, a player should be retired for at least a year, but the selection committee has the ability to overrule that. The 12-person committee can enshrine at most five and at least three people each year. A candidate must receive at least eight votes to be elected into the Hall.

This year’s selection committee was Kevin Allen, Frank Brown, Lefty Curran, Ron DeGregorio, Karyn Bye Dietz, Mike Emrick, Dave Fischer, Roger Godin, A.J. Mleczko Griswold, Pat Kelleher, Kathryn Tappen, and Lou Vairo.

Their induction ceremony is delayed until December 2021 and will be combined with the Class of 2021. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Eveleth, Minn.

Update as of 10:32 a.m.: USA Hockey provided details on the selection process. The article has been updated to include that information.