50 Players, 50 Days: Cole O'Connell
April 14, 2020
During the current and unforeseen cancelation of the 2019-20 season, the players in the NAHL saw their seasons cut prematurely short. In some cases, players saw their junior hockey careers come to an end as well. However, the NAHL got together a decided to highlight some of those players, who were born in 1999 and were in their final season of playing junior hockey.
As a result, we present a new series entitled: 50 players in 50 days
50 players in 50 days will select 50 players from each of the 26 NAHL teams this past season that were born in 1999, are currently uncommitted, and deserve some recognition during their time spent playing and developing in the NAHL. Over the course of the next 50 days, we will take time out to look at their accomplishments, review their season, and provide some background on their NAHL careers. Players will be initially highlighted in alphabetical order by team. Enjoy!
Cole O’Connell, Forward, Minot Minotauros
Minot Minotauros and Top Prospects forward Cole O’Connell, 20, made his final season in the NAHL count as his best season to date.
The 5’8/177 lbs. native of Moorhead, Minnesota, had a very consistent 2019-20 season, which turned out to be his best. O’Connel, who was the team captain for Minot this season, put up a career-best 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 49 games played. During the week January 6th, he was named the Central Division’s 2nd star of the week for his six-assist effort in two games.
O’Connell was later selected to and played in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Central Division team, where he produced when it counted, recorded a goal and assist for the undefeated Central squad in two games.
Overall in his two-year NAHL career in Minot, O’Connell appeared in 98 career NAHL games and recorded 47 points.
“Cole played a huge role for our organization over the last two seasons. He showed excellent leadership skills, and a team first mentally that made him a unanimous captain. He is loved by his teammates and does things the right way, both on and off the ice. Cole is a player that is very versatile playing all three forward positions. He plays in every situation and can be counted on to get the job done. He has a strong skill set, and a great shot. Cole was a key member of our penalty-killing group as well,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
Prior to playing in the NAHL, O’Connell was a standout forward for Moorhead High School in Minnesota, helping the Spuds to the Class AA state title game in 2017. In 90 career high school games, O’Connell had 103 career points.