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Pursuing a hockey dream together: The successful balancing act of Luke and Sophia Kunin, the first NHL-PWHL couple

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Luke Kunin has always been supported by his wife, Sophia, throughout his career. From his time in Minnesota to his trade to Nashville, she has been by his side. Now, Kunin is excited to return to Xcel Energy Center, where he started his NHL career as a rookie, to watch Sophia play at the highest level in person for the first time.

“I’ve watched her games on the internet all year, but I think of all the things she’s sacrificed for me over the years so I can live out my dream. I can’t wait to be there to support her and watch her live her dream,” Luke said.

The Kunins’ relationship has helped them overcome many challenges, from meeting as teenagers to excelling in hockey and supporting each other through tough times. They are the only husband and wife professional hockey players in their respective leagues in North America.

Luke and Sophia met at the University of Wisconsin before their freshman years and have been together ever since. Although they are both professional athletes, they don’t do a lot of offseason training together. Luke hopes to sign a long-term deal with the Sharks, while Sophia is preparing for the playoffs with PWHL Minnesota.


In 2016, Sophia received the devastating news of her brother Drake’s passing. Luke was a constant source of support for her during this difficult time and continues to be there for her and her family. The couple is grateful for the unique experience of both playing professional hockey and having someone who understands the highs and lows of their careers.

“To have someone like that as your partner is really special for us,” Sophia said.

(Top photos courtesy of Sophia Kunin)

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