Connolly is a three time Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team pick. He maintains a 3.3 cumulative grade point average and is scheduled to graduate on time (this spring). He interned in the UMD sports information office during the 2011 spring semester and wrote a regular blog on the department’s website (umdbulldogs.com).
Connolly, according to head coach Scott Sandelin, “is the ultimate ‘character kid’—the kind of person you’d love your son to grow up to be like.” When it came time to choose what player’s 8’ x 20’ picture would adorn the entry way of the new AMSOIL Arena, Jack was a no-brainer. He is so well respected by teammates and opponents alike. You just never hear anyone say a bad thing about him.”
Despite his national fame, Connolly has never forgotten where he came from. He is always willing and eager to lend a volunteering hand and has, over the years, done so at the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth, the Pucks for Poverty Program, the Northern Lights Foundation and various cancer fundraisers, to name a few. He’s also made countless appearances at local youth hockey team practices, and following his freshman season, even helped pick up trash for the department as part of the Adopt-A-Highway program.
Connolly is a two-time All-American. He will serve as team captain for the defending national champion Bulldogs. He closed out his junior season with a career-high 59 points (the third highest scoring total in the nation) and ranked second among all NCAA skaters in assists with 41, en route to landing a spot on the AHCA All-American first team. Connolly was one of 10 finalists for the 2010-11 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. He received All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association first team recognition for the second year in a row last winter—the first Bulldog to that in a quarter century. He has skated in all 125 games since joining the UMD program in 2008-09 and has 137 points (46 goals and 91 assists) to show for it. Connolly is the two-time reigning team scoring leader. He was a member of the All-American second team as a sophomore. He is an impressive +33 for his career and hasn’t been blanked in the points column in two straight games since the middle of his rookie season.