So far the latest not-so-shocking news with the Force is captain Brian Cooper (Nebraska-Omaha) was named the USHL’s Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Cooper, 18, practically held a 4.0 grade point average while he was here in Fargo and finished with a 3.9 GPA. He graduated from Fargo South last weekend as a member of the school’s National Honor Society.
Per a release from the USHL, Cooper won the award based on his grade point average, coursework and overall school participation.
Cooper, the release said, took classes in pre-calculus, psychology, advanced math, physics, English, government and forensics. He was also named of one of South’s “students of the month.”
He pulled this off in one of what was easily one of the more demanding years an individual Force player could have had.
Cooper, who is eligible for the NHL Draft, was heading into his third year with the Force. He was named captain and led a group which featured 13 first-year players and guided them to a fourth-place finish after losing 13 of their first 15 to start the season.
Though he didn’t have the offensive outburst many expected, he scored 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) in 55 games, tying a career-high in games he’s had with the Force. In the playoffs, he had three points in six games. He also marshaled a defense which ranked third on the penalty kill, a year after it was ranked eighth.
In addition to all that, he represented and captained Team USA at the World Junior “A” Challenge in British Columbia leading the team to a bronze medal.
He recently completed the NHL Combine in Toronto further cementing the chances he will be taken this summer.
Cooper has said in previous interviews his goal, should hockey not work out, is to attend Creighton University and become a doctor.
Winning the award wraps up what has been a trophy-case heavy season for the Force. Cooper and goaltender Zane Gothberg (North Dakota) were named to the all-USHL team last week. Gothberg was a first-team selection while Cooper was a second-team choice.
Gothberg was also named the league’s co-Goaltender of the Year with Green Bay’s Ryan McKay (Miami (Ohio).