USCHO awards: Minnesota-Duluth’s Connolly adds top player honors

And the honors keep rolling in for Jack Connolly.

The Minnesota-Duluth senior captain, already the Hobey Baker Award winner, WCHA player of the year, Premier Player of College Hockey winner and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner, has now been named USCHO’s player of the year.

Finishing the season second in the nation in scoring with 20 goals and 60 points, Connolly wrapped up his four-year stint with the Bulldogs with 197 points (66 goals, 131 assists), playing in all 164 games.

“When I came in as a freshman, my coaches gave me an opportunity to step in and be an impact player, play on the second line and the second power-play unit,” Connolly said recently. “It just kind of grew from there. We lost some guys and spots opened up and I took it upon myself to step up as one of the key guys in our program.”

Named to the All-WCHA first team for the second straight season, Connolly averaged a league-best 1.54 points per game, was first in assists, first in power-play points (24) and had three game-winning goals. A Duluth, Minn., native, Connolly was a finalist for the 2011 Hobey Baker Award and was a first-team All-American the past two seasons.

Connolly was held pointless for more than two games in a row only twice since the start of his sophomore season and reeled off a school single-season record 22-game point-scoring streak this year.

“Everything [Connolly] does, on and off the ice, he does with class,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said in a statement. “I really can’t say enough about what this young man has meant to our program, our school, and our community over the past four years.”

Connolly averaged 1.46 points per game this season. In 16 games against teams in the top half of the defensive rankings, that average jumped to 1.5 points per game. In 11 games against teams that played in the NCAA tournament, he averaged 1.9 points per game.

Undrafted, Connolly said he’s looking into playing pro hockey next season overseas.

Can more honors come Connolly’s way over the next few seasons? It’s hard to think they wouldn’t.

USCHO’s awards were selected by staff members at the Frozen Four. They also include the All-USCHO teams released Tuesday, the rookie of the year released Wednesday and the coach of the year released Thursday.