Edina coach Curt Giles has seen a parade of players move on from the Hornets for Division I college programs. Few have garnered the kind of rabid interest there’s been in high-scoring junior forward Connor Hurley.
“I’ve heard from more college coaches about him than for most any player we’ve had,” Giles said. “They can see what kind of quality player he is.”
A long recruiting process that included trips to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth and Michigan State ended on Wednesday when Hurley announced on Wednesday that he had committed to play at Notre Dame.
“The academics obviously was a big thing that matters in my family,” said Hurley, whose oldest brother, Ryan, was a standout lacrosse player at Cornell. “Everybody there is just really nice.
“They’ve got a great team now, and they are getting a lot of good recruits in for the years to come.”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Hurley, who also is attracting heavy interest from NHL scouts, has eight goals and seven assists in six games for the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Hornets.
“A lot of players can play with their heads up and do a lot of things at different speed,” Giles said. “The neat thing about him is he can go at full speed, and he can see the play and read the play.
“Connor is quick. He’s deceptively strong. He’s stronger than he looks. He can do everything, he can pass the puck, he can shoot the puck and he can skate.”
Giles said most of the questions he gets about Hurley and other top Edina players (defensemen Matt Nelson and Parker Reno have committed to Princeton and RPI) is how they perform off the ice.
“He’s one of the first ones in the locker room and he’s one of the last ones to leave,” Giles said. “He gets along so well with his teammates. He’s a fun kid to be around.”
Former Edina stars Anders Lee and Steven Fogarty play for Notre Dame, and Hurley said he received a congratulatory text message from Fogarty on Wednesday. Lee, a junior, is the leading scorer for the Fighting Irish with 10 goals and five assists in 15 games. Fogarty, a freshman, has three goals and an assist.
“It was a hard process,” Hurley said about choosing a school. “I think it definitely gets some weight off my shoulders.”
Hurley said the focus now is on his schoolwork and getting Edina back to the state Class 2A tournament, where the Hornets lost to eventual champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the quarterfinals.