UMD men's hockey: Former Bulldogs defenseman Kelley chooses Providence

After playing the last two seasons at Minnesota Duluth, defenseman Connor Kelley has chosen Providence as his new school after entering the transfer portal

Minnesota Duluth defenseman Connor Kelley (25) makes a pass against St. Cloud State during the first period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live
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DULUTH — Former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Connor Kelley announced Monday he will be transferring to Providence for the 2022-23 season.

Kelley, 20, will be a junior in 2022-23 with the Friars. The 2021 seventh-round NHL draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks played two seasons with the Bulldogs from 2020-22 before entering the transfer portal this offseason. Kelley played in 39 games this past season, tallying two goals and nine assists. He began the season in a top-four role on the Bulldogs blue line playing alongside fifth-year senior Matt Anderson and then fellow sophomore Blackhawks draft pick Wyatt Kaiser. By the end of the season, Kelley was on the third pairing with freshman defenseman Owen Gallatin.

A native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Kelley played two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development program before appearing in 25 games as a freshman in 2020-21 when he totaled three goals and two assists. This past fall he was named to the U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster for the World Juniors, but didn’t make the final cut.

Other Bulldogs reportedly still in the transfer portal from UMD seeking new schools include senior defenseman Jake Rosenbaum, senior forward Jarrett Lee and junior forward Ben Almquist.


The Bulldogs have added just one player from the transfer portal this offseason, so far, in Maine junior goaltender Matthew Thiessen.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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