One hit and an awkward fall into the boards was all it took to end an NHL career.

My guest today on the #MakeYourMark podcast, Jesse Winchester, had just signed a two year deal with the Colorado Avalanche, and was looking forward to a great season with his new teammates before a severe concussion in the pre-season took that all away. And I don’t think I’ve had a more grateful and appreciative guest! You’ll hear about his less traditional entry into the NHL, backyard rinks, and the year + recovery needed to rebound from his injury. 


Jesse and I spoke about how a concussion leaves you injured in ways that are not visible to teammates and others, how visiting a grocery store was almost impossible, and life after the NHL.

We focus on the need for further resources for retired athletes, along with the importance (and difficulties) of preparing for life after sport while you are still playing.


This was a special episode as we dove deep into how an injury can be mentally and physically traumatic, and how family and friends play such a pivotal role after retirement.

Please give this a listen, especially if you are a current or retired athlete, you’ll be glad you did.


Some Topics we talk about in this episode:

  • Introduction - 0:40

  • Getting into hockey - 2:50

  • It might lead to something - 6:20

  • Colgate University and Scholarship - 7:50

  • Getting the balance in a young age - 10:40

  • Wanted to play professionally - 14:00

  • Finland-bound - 18:20

  • Coming back to the NHL - 20:10

  • Contract with Colorado - 22:10

  • Suffering a severe concussion - 23:00

  • What the symptoms were - 25:45

  • Facing the symptoms - 27:20

  • Advice for other concussion sufferers - 28:50

  • What's next - 32:25

  • What the NHL offers for career planning? - 35:40

  • Resources from the Player’s Association - 41:40

  • What athletes bring to a business - 48:25

  • LinkedIn as a networking tool - 50:25

  • Hit Your Mark - 55:20

  • Wrap-up and Takeaways - 56:40


How to get involved

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