Sierra Costa becomes the first female general manager in Canadian junior hockey history
Sierra Costa broke the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s gender barrier by becoming the first woman to serve as general manager of a Canadian Junior A League team.
Costa was announced as the new general manager of the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of nine leagues across Canada, including Junior A loops in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes.
The Tigers discovered the 24-year-old Costa while working with Paramount Sports Management on a co-op sports management placement at Humber College.
Soon after, she was hired by the team and made Canadian hockey history.
As Costa said Dawnalthough this is the first step in her hockey management journey, she has much bigger goals in mind.
“Everyone wants to take the elevator and go to the penthouse, the penthouse being in the NHL. But you have to start somewhere,” she said. “I think it’s the best opportunity to start somewhere. You still have that level of competitiveness. You deal with transactions, you have deadlines, you deal with finances.
As Aurora Tigers team governor Jim Thomson said, as he focused on finding a woman for the job to diversify his front office, he inevitably thought Costa was the best candidate.
“We have a person who will help us in many areas, make our lives easier and improve our organization,” he told Dawn. “It’s a great day for women in sport.”
This season, two women have been hired to assistant general manager positions in the NHL. Émilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato joined the Vancouver Canucks organization mid-season. In other North American junior leagues, women are also entering management. In the USHL, Noelle Needham has served as assistant general manager of the Chicago Steel powerhouse since 2020.
The OJHL Aurora Tigers have developed several notable players in recent seasons, including Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton and Colorado Avalanche winger Dylan Sikura. For the 2022 NHL Draft, three current OJHL players made the final rankings, while 11 players from across the CJHL made the roster.
Aurora finished third in the OJHL North Division this season with a 25-23-2-4 record.