McKinnon was a defenseman at UND from 1947-48 through 1949-50 and collected seven goals and 15 points in 61 career games. He was a member of the 1947-48 UND team that, in just its second year of varsity hockey, upset Michigan on the road in a victory widely-considered to have unofficially ushered the university into the world of NCAA hockey.
He earned All-America honors as a senior in 1949-50, becoming the program’s first defenseman to do so, and later won a silver medal with the United States at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy alongside fellow North Dakota alumni Gordon Christian and Ken Purpur. McKinnon also represented the U.S. at the 1955 and 1958 World Championships.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McKinnon family at this time,” said UND head coach Brad Berry in a statement. “Dan was an instrumental part of our hockey program and in what we represent today. His legacy will always be remembered as hard-working, honest, and being a great teammate. He, along with people like Cal Marvin, Ginny Christian and John Noah, laid the foundation blocks for our program that is now loaded with tradition and success. We will remember Dan within our family in the future years to come.”
McKinnon was inducted into the UND Athletics Letterwinners Hall of Fame in 1982. He was also a recipient of the UND men’s Hockey Sioux Legends Award.