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Hilary Knight goes nude in ESPN Body Issue, reps hockey

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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<span style=color: #808080; line-height: 15px;>Martin Schoeller / ESPN the Magazine</span>

<span style=color: #808080; line-height: 15px;>Martin Schoeller / ESPN the Magazine</span>

ESPN the Magazine's annual Body Issue hits newstands this week and there are no NHL players showing off  their best sides. Hockey is repped, however, by Hilary Knight of the U.S. women's national team.

Knight scored three goals and posted six points in five games for the U.S. at the Sochi Olympics, which ended in a second straight silver medal for the squad. She currently plays for the Boston Blades of the CWHL.

After being asked to pose for the issue, Knight decided to use the opportunity to spread a message.

From ESPN:

It's this bulldozer effect on the ice. I noticed that if I'm 185 pounds or more [as I was for the Olympics], I get this crazy power-forward mentality and no one can stop me. I definitely still felt feminine at 185. I just jumped right in and took hold of being proud and happy with being a female athlete.
...
I had this idea that muscular isn't feminine. There is this image of athletic women as small and petite -- the yoga body type. Women in general, we tend to shrink ourselves and not have as much confidence as we should in presenting ourselves and our body types. It's OK to be fit and healthy and comfortable within your body, whatever frame you have. Since gaining 15 pounds to be at the top of my sport [for the Olympics], I've tried to shatter the body image that muscular isn't feminine.

Joffrey Lupul, Brad Richards and Ryan Kesler were the last NHLers to pose nude for the mag. Knight becomes the second female hockey player featured in the annual issue, joining Julie Chu, who posed in 2012.

It's a star-studded edition featuring everyone from Michael Phelps, Venus Williams, Megan Rapinoe, Marshawn Lynch and, yes, Prince Fielder. Maybe this gives us hope we'll see Dustin Byfuglien next summer? OK, maybe not.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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