DUBUQUE, Iowa — Dubuque Fighting Saints forward Connor Kurth has been named USHL Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Kurth is the third Fighting Saint to receive this award in the past four seasons, joining Mason McCormick (2019) and Alex Steeves (2018).
“We take academics seriously in Dubuque, and Connor being the third Fighting Saints named USHL Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the last four seasons highlights that. Connor's dedication to both hockey and school is impressive and we couldn't be happier he's been recognized with this award,” said Kalle Larsson, the Fighting Saints’ GM. “This award and the All-Academic Team nominations are also an example of the remarkable work by our academic coordinator JoAnne Gibson. JoAnne has worked tirelessly with our players for a long time, and she is a tremendous asset to our club.”
Kurth completed 11 credits at St. Paul Community College and 11 credits at Normandale Community College. He completed his high school career with a 4.12 GPA. Kurth is committed to the University of Minnesota, a regular powerhouse in the Big Ten. This incredible academic accolade stacks on top of his earlier selection to the USHL All-Rookie Second Team this summer.
“It’s something that’s always been instilled in me. My parents told me no matter what, you have to work hard in the classroom because you never know how far hockey is going to take you and you need to have a plan B,” Kurth said. “I’m honored to have received this award.”
Kurth’s mother, Jennifer (M.Ed), is the principal at Gentry Academy, where he spent the bulk of his high schooling life, and a strong proponent of his strong educational background. He excelled on the ice as well at Gentry, which led to his selection by the Fighting Saints in Phase I of the 2019 USHL Draft. Kurth scored 41 points in 52 games in his rookie season, and finished the year ranked 203rd among North American Skaters for the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft, which will be held this weekend.
McCormick finished his high school career with a 3.9 cumulative GPA at Dubuque Senior High School, and most recently captured the Robertson Cup championship with the Shreveport Mudbugs. Steeves graduated from Dubuque Senior with a cumulative 4.1 GPA, completed an incredible career at the University of Notre Dame as a regular Big Ten All-Academic, AHCA All-American Scholar, Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph’s Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award winner, and regular Dean’s List honoree. He signed a pro contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 28.