June 18, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. - The Notre Dame hockey team will once again be represented at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp that will be held August 2-9 in Lake Placid, New York. Incoming freshman center Connor Hurley (Eagan, Minn.) is one of 42 players that have been invited to the camp. The group of players includes four goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 24 forwards who will be competing for a spot on the United States team that will participate in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship that will be played December 26, 2014 through January 5, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.
The U.S. has medaled in three of the last five IIHF World Junior Championships, including gold medals in 2010 and 2013 and a bronze in 2011. Of the 42 players attending the camp, seven are returnees from the 2014 U.S. Junior National Team. Twenty-four of the invitees have won medals at IIHF events in the past.
The camp, which will take place at Lake Placid's Olympic Center, will feature practices, intra-squad scrimmages and international games versus the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and two teams representing the United States.
Hurley is a 6-2, 174-pound center who split last season between the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Green Bay Gamblers where he was a teammate of fellow Irish freshmen Dawson Cook (Cadillac, Mich.) and Jordan Gross (Maple Grove, Minn.). In 56 games last season between Muskegon and Green Bay, Hurley had 13 goals and 37 assists for 50 points with two power-play goals and three game winners. In the postseason, he led the Gamblers in scoring with two goals and two assists for four points as they were eliminated in the first round of the USHL playoffs by the Indiana Ice, the eventual USHL champion.
Hurley is no stranger to international competition as last November he played for the United States' team that captured the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. There, he was a teammate of future Irish players - Gross, Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton, Calif.) and Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa). The talented playmaker finished second in the tournament in scoring with three goals and seven assists for 10 points and was named to the all-tournament team.
A product of the Edina High School program that has produced current Irish players - junior Steven Fogarty and sophomore Ben Ostlie - Hurley helped lead the Hornets to the Minnesota 2AA state championship in 2012-13, leading the team in scoring with 26 goals and 32 assists in 30 games. He then joined Muskegon late in the season, playing in 11 games with a goal and seven assists for eight points.
A talented two-way center, Hurley was the youngest player selected in the 2013 National Hockey Entry Draft when Buffalo selected him in the second round, 38th overall.
Since 1976, Notre Dame has had 18 players play in the World Junior Championships with Tommy DiPauli (Woodridge, Ill.) and Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.) playing for the United States in the 2014 World Junior Championships that were held in Malmo, Sweden last December and January.