UMD's Connolly Agrees to Deal in Swedish Elite League

By KBJR News 1

April 13, 2012 Updated Apr 14, 2012 at 8:17 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- UMD senior captain Jack Connolly has agreed to a two-year deal with Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League (SEL), the team announced on Friday morning.

The SEL, known in Swedish as the Elitserien, is the top professional hockey league in Sweden and consists of 12 teams.

Based in Karlstad, Färjestad BK won the 2011 postseason championship, which was the team's league-leading ninth overall title.

Connolly had been on the team's radar since late in his junior season, said manager Thomas Rundqvist, and his development over the 2011-12 season continued in the right direction.

He became the fifth Bulldog to win the Hobey Baker award earlier this month, an award given annually to the best player in men's college hockey.

Connolly finished his senior season as the second-leading scorer in the country with 60 points, falling short to only the 62 points of Maine's Spencer Abbott.

The Duluth native played in 166 consecutive games during his four years with the Bulldogs, scoring 197 career points to put him eighth on the program's all-time scoring list.

He was also named a first-team All-American this season by the American Hockey Coaches Association, becoming only UMD's second three-time All-American.

Connolly was also named the player of the year in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS award winner, and the 2012 Premier player of men's college hockey.

Click the video link for reaction from Connolly on signing his first professional contract.

Zach Schneider
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