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Rochester's Gavin Kor focused on a promising present at Shattuck, not a bright hockey future beyond

Kor's name has popped up often on lists of the top 2007-born players in the U.S. The Minnesota native is taking it all in stride and focusing on helping Shattuck St. Mary's win another national title.

Rochester native Gavin Kor (9) is among the top points producers for the Shattuck St. Mary's 15O team this season. The 5-foot-6, 151-pound right winger averages nearly a point per game.
Contributed / Kor Family

ROCHESTER — Gavin Kor developed his goal-scoring touch by spending countless hours in the basement of his family’s Rochester home, shooting hockey pucks with his brothers, Payton and Charlie.

Those hours of practice came at a cost, though — at least to the Kor brothers’ parents.

“We spent a ton of time down in the basement — we had an unfinished basement, the walls weren’t finished — and we probably broke a couple of windows,” Gavin Kor said with a laugh. “We ended up putting netting around the entire shooting area.”

Whatever damage was done in the Kor's shooting room is paying off nicely these days for Gavin, who turned 16 last week. The 5-foot-6, 151-pound right wing is one of the leading scorers for the powerful 15O boys hockey team at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault. Kor’s 0.94 points per game average — he missed more than 20 games early this season due to an injury — is the third-best mark on the 30-18-5 Sabres team.

Kor has 12 goals and 29 points — and just two penalty minutes — in 31 games for Shattuck, which will play in the 15O USA Hockey national championships this week in Wayne, N.J. Shattuck, the No. 3 seed, is set to face the 14th-seeded Dallas Stars Elite in its tournament opener at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.


“Honestly, just how everyone kind of has the same goal in mind,” Kor said of what makes playing hockey at Shattuck so special. “Everyone here wants to get better and be the best they can be. It’s a super high compete level and work ethic. We’re all fighting for the same thing. “The whole year is about trying to get better. Everything we do is leading up to that one week, to win a national championship.”

This week’s national tournament will be the third Kor has played in his three seasons at Shattuck. As a first-year Sabre, Kor was a member of the 2021 14U AAA team that won a national championship. It was nonetheless a challenging year, as Kor had moved away from home at age 13 in a season when the COVID pandemic kept players confined mostly to the rink or their dorm rooms.

“The hardest part of that year wasn’t even moving away from home,” Kor said. “With COVID, we couldn’t intermix with the other guys a lot. It was hard being in our dorms a lot and not going to (in-person school).

“Our coaches kept us focused, though, reminding us that we’re still here to get better and to focus on practices. We still worked out a ton and were at the rink almost all day. Instead of focusing on the things that were out of our control, we focused on hockey and getting better as a team and individuals.”

Rochester native Gavin Kor (9) has played in 133 games during his three seasons at Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault. Kor has 58 goals and 134 points in that time.
Contributed / Kor Family

Kor played his role well that season, finishing with 20 points in 50 games as an underage player (he was a 2007-born player on a team primarily consisting of 2006-born players).

“Two years ago, the national championship season, it was super cool being on that team and winning that championship,” he said. “That year, playing up with that team that was already stacked with a bunch of really good ’06s, it was really fun. Practice was super hard and I got a lot better skating with those guys every day.”

Kor’s stock among nationwide scouting services, college programs and Canadian major junior programs began to soar a year ago, when he scored 39 goals and had 85 points in 52 games in his second season on Shattuck’s 14U AAA team.

He's listed as a 5-star prospect — and the No. 12-ranked 2007-born U.S. player — by Puck Preps, a scouting and recruiting outlet. Neutral Zone, another scouting and recruiting news source, ranked Kor No. 42 among 2007-born U.S. players.


His play was so impressive last season that the Portland (Ore.) Winterhawks — a U.S.-based team in the Canadian major junior Western Hockey League — made Kor their top pick in the 2022 U.S. Priority Draft.

“Gavin is a dynamic playmaker with elite vision and exceptional hockey sense as well as an impressive goal-scoring touch,” Portland’s director of U.S. scouting Greg Sampson said at the time. “Between his skill set, character and compete level, we are thrilled to welcome Gavin into the Winterhawks family.”

Kor is taking all the extra attention in stride.

His college recruiting window opened on Jan. 1, and he has had some Division I programs reach out.

At some point in the next two years, he’ll have a decision to make: College hockey or major junior hockey with the Winterhawks.

“I’m just trying to find out what all of my options are,” he said. “No decisions yet. I just want to know what the options are and will take time to (make a choice).”

The college scouts, the lure of playing in the WHL, the online scouts who list him among the best 2007-born players in the U.S. — they will all still be there in the not-too-distant future.

For now, though, Kor is focused on what is immediately in front of him: Trying to bring another national championship to Shattuck.


“It’s nice, obviously, just getting rewarded or recognized,” he said, “but I try to not focus on those things too much. I have a good group of people who keep me level-headed and focused on the day-to-day and getting better, and not focus on the other stuff.”

Rochester native Gavin Kor is in his third season at Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault. Kor and the Sabres' 15O team begin play in the 2023 USA Hockey national championships on Wednesday in Wayne, N.J.
Contributed / Kor Family

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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