Hear from USA Hockey alumni as the recall time spent in Team USA red, white and blue.
Q-and-A with Connor Dunlop
Connor Dunlop, St. Louis, Mo., (1997-99 at U.S. National Team Development Program)
USA Hockey: How many seasons did you play at the NTDP and what position did you play?
Connor Dunlop: I was one of the original dinosaurs who played during the 1997-1999 seasons. I was a center.
USAH: Where did you play before the NTDP?
Dunlop: I played for the St. Louis Blues AAA and part of the season with the St. Louis Sting in the NAHL the season before joining the NTDP.
USAH: How and why did you start playing hockey?
Dunlop: My father played 11 seasons in the NHL, so I grew up with hockey from the get go.
USAH: What was being a part of NTDP like?
Dunlop: My time in Ann Arbor was some of the best and most challenging days of my playing career. Being the first group to do the full two years, we had a lot of challenges, and the bond I made with many of my teammates is still as strong today as it was 20 years ago.
USAH: What was your best hockey moment?
Dunlop: Being named team captain of the U.S. for the IIHF World Junior Championship in Moscow in 2001. (Editor’s note: Team USA went an impressive 5-2-0 at the event.)
USAH: What did you enjoy about being back for the NTDP 20th anniversary reunion?
Dunlop: It was great to catch up with all of my old teammates, coaches and staff. We shared lots of laughs and great conversation.
USAH: What are you doing now? Any family updates or work updates to share?
Dunlop: I am now a financial advisor and private wealth advisor with Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. I am married to my wife, Laura, and have a crazy little 18-month-old son named Beau.
USAH: What do you love most about hockey?
Dunlop: Hockey is all about your teammates, and if there is one thing the NTDP does, it’s produce great players and even better teammates. The success of the program is the strength of the group while allowing individuals to develop and grow. The life lessons and intangibles you can take away from hockey and apply to your career and family after hockey are what make this place so special.
“Overall, this was an incredible reunion. My only wish was that more players were able to come back and enjoy all the time and energy USA Hockey continues to put into the NTDP. Even though my '89 birth-year group was smaller than I expected, I got to really spend quality time with four close friends I haven't seen in five years.” – Alexander (AJ) Sturgis (U.S. NTDP 2005-2007)