skip navigation


Since Dubuque's return to the USHL in 2010, many players with bright futures have pulled on a Fighting Saints jersey. As the USHL is a developmental league, the goals of these players in Dubuque are to not only win a Clark Cup, but to also obtain a college scholarship and to be drafted by an NHL team.
Over the last eight seasons, the Fighting Saints have seen numerous alumni move onto star in NCAA College Hockey. Last year, well over 50 Fighting Saints alumni played college hockey and Johnny Gaudreau, a member of the 2010-2011 Dubuque team, won the Hobey Baker Award. Two former Fighting Saints, Zemgus Girgensons, and Gaudreau, have both already moved onto the NHL representing Dubuque. 

Fighting Saints in the NHL Draft

Name Selection NHL Team
Vinny Saponari 2008, 4th Round, 94th Overall Atlanta Thrashers (Now Winnipeg)
Max Gardiner 2010, 3rd Round, 74th overall St. Louis Blues
Nick Luukko 2010, 6th Round, 179th overall Philadelphia Flyers
Johnny Gaudreau 2011, 4th Round, 104th overall Calgary Flames
Zemgus Girgensons 2012, 1st Round, 14th overall Buffalo Sabres
Mike Matheson 2012, 1st Round, 23rd overall Florida Panthers
Riley Barber 2012, 6th Round, 167th overall Washington Capitals
Matt Benning 2012, 6th Round, 175th overall Boston Bruins
Joakim Ryan 2012, 7th Round, 198th overall San Jose Sharks
Mike Downing 2013, 4th Round, 97th overall Florida Panthers
Peter Quenneville 2013, 7th Round, 195th overall Columbus Blue Jackets
William Lagesson 2014, 4th Round, 91st overall Edmonton Oilers
Shane Eiserman 2014, 4th Round, 100th overall Ottawa Senators
J.D. Dudek 2014, 6th Round, 152nd overall New Jersey Devils
Jeff Taylor 2014, 7th Round, 203rd overall Pittsburgh Penguins
Patrick Holway 2015, 6th Round, 170th overall Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Zuhlsdorf 2015, 5th Round, 150th overall Tampa Bay Lightning
Dylan Gambrell 2016, 2nd Round, 60th overall San Jose Sharks
Casey Staum 2016, 5th Round, 124th overall Montreal Canadiens
Patrick Kudla 2016, 6th Round, 158th overal Arizona Coyotes
Blake Hillman 2016, 6th Round, 173rd overall Chicago Blackhawks
Cole Guttman 2017, 6th round, 180th overall Tampa Bay Lightning
Joey Keane 2018, 3rd Round, 88th overall New York Rangers
Simon Kjellberg 2018, 6th Round, 163rd overall New York Rangers
Matthew Thiessen 2018, 7th Round, 192nd overall Vancouver Canucks

Fighting Saints in the NHL

Fifteen players who have played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints have advanced to play in the NHL following their time in The Key City. Six players came from the original Fighting Saints, including Gary Suter, who was an Olympian and is a member of the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Original Dubuque Fighting Saints (1980-2010)

When the Dubuque Fighting Saints returned to the USHL in 2010, they revived the original name of the USHL team that called Dubuque home from 1980-2001. Many players from those teams advanced to become NCAA and professional players. Six original Fighting Saints advanced from Dubuque to the NHL and are enshrined in the Hall of Champions at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Visit our Team History page for more information on the original Fighting Saints.