DUBUQUE, Iowa — Dubuque Fighting Saints captain Cole Guttman (Los Angeles, Calif./Tampa Bay Lightning) has committed to the University of Denver to continue his hockey journey. He is set to join the reigning NCAA national champions, and is set to reunite with the new Fighting Saints’ winningest coach, and two-time Clark Cup champion, Jim Montgomery.
Guttman’s career with the Fighting Saints, while just over a season long overall, has been fruitful. Once a USHL All-Rookie First Team selection, and sixth-round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning, he has set the standard for consistency in a Saints uniform. In his 65 games as a Fighting Saint, he has accumulated 63 points. Additionally, he posted at least a point in 38 of 53 games last season (71.6%).
“I’m really excited,” Guttman said. “When the opportunity came around, I obviously had to jump on it. It’s close to home, it’s a great program, and the coaching staff is awesome. I’m excited to get started.”
Originally a sixth round selection in the 2015 edition of the USHL’s Phase I Draft, Guttman joined the Saints during the 2015–16 season for two games, and was part of the Clark Cup Playoffs run that season. He returned in 2016–17 as an alternate captain before being named captain in June for the current 2017–18 season.
“I think I can offer a lot to the Pioneers, and [Montgomery] had faith in me as well. I was really fortunate for them to have faith in me, and as I said before, I can’t wait to get out there.”
Guttman is currently on a five-game point streak that includes 3 goals and 2 assists. His last two games have been multi-point efforts. Overall, Guttman has 63 points in 68 USHL contests, and 4 points in 14 Clark Cup playoff games.
The Denver Pioneers have set the standard for being an elite hockey team in the NCAA ranks, and have been a regular landing spot for elite Dubuque Fighting Saints players over the years. Included in the Pioneers’ ranks are forward Dylan Gambrell, a San Jose Sharks prospect, defenseman Blake Hillman, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, and defenseman Michael Davies. Evan Janssen, a former Saint, won the national championship with Denver a season ago.
Montgomery, after winning the two Clark Cups in Dubuque, is in his fifth season as Denver’s bench boss, and has continued that tradition of excellence there. He reached 100 wins faster than any coach in Denver history, made it to the Elite Eight in 2015, the Frozen Four in 2016, and won the national championship in 2017, as well as the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Coach of the Year following the fact. Denver is ranked #1 in the latest national polls.