Fargo's Cole Knuble adds latest accolade to his rapidly growing collection with 2023 Curt Hammer Award
Knuble becomes the first player in Force history to win the award after leading the way both on and off the ice
FARGO — Cole Knuble added another accolade to his rapidly growing collection Tuesday morning as the Fargo forward was named the recipient of the 2023 Curt Hammer Award.
The award is given to a player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice with outstanding performance, leadership, pride and determination. The award has been presented since the 1988-89 season and Knuble becomes the first player in Force history to receive the honor.
“We couldn’t be more excited that Cole has been named the recipient of this year’s Curt Hammer Award,” Fargo head coach Nick Olvier said in a statement. “Cole embodies what this award stands for in every way. His on-ice performance has been well documented this season, but I’m most proud of Cole for the type of person he is and how he lives his life.
“Cole’s impact on his teammates, coaches and the Fargo-Moorhead community during his career has been tremendous. We’re excited to watch him continue to be a leader the rest of this season and into his career at Notre Dame.”
𝙱𝚁𝙴𝙰𝙺𝙸𝙽𝙶: 𝙲𝚘𝚕𝚎 𝙺𝚗𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚗𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝟸𝟶𝟸𝟹 𝙲𝚞𝚛𝚝 𝙷𝚊𝚖𝚖𝚎𝚛 𝙰𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚁𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚙𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚝— Fargo Force (@FargoForce) May 16, 2023
Cole is the first player in franchise history to receive this honor!#ForceNation⚡️ | #StarsRise pic.twitter.com/cRTOMsFtpC
The second-year forward dazzled during the regular season and his stellar play has followed him into the postseason. The All-USHL First Team selection racked up 30 goals and 66 points in the regular season and has six goals and nine points through eight playoff games.
Two of those six goals were game-winners and Knuble put together arguably the best individual performance of the postseason so far with four goals in Fargo’s series-clinching win in Lincoln to advance to the Clark Cup Finals.
Knuble’s impact on the Force has gone beyond the ice too.
“He gives it his all every night and it’s not just on the ice, it’s in the locker room and he’s a great leader,” Fargo forward Bret Link told The Rink Live last week. “He’s a great player, a great person and there’s nobody I’d rather call a brother.”
“Cole is the same person and competitor every single day, and his teammates gravitate towards him and look up to him for that,” Oliver added. “He just goes about his work and sets a great example whether it’s on the ice or off the ice."
Along with his production at the rink, the Notre Dame commit has been just as busy away from it. Knuble is an active member of the Fargo Force Reading Program and has spent time volunteering at several local non-profits, including Hope Blooms and Homeward Animal Shelter.
He’s spent plenty of time at Sanford Children’s Hospital in that stretch and has also spent time volunteering during youth hockey practices at the Cullen Force Academy.
“The Fargo Force are extremely proud to have Cole Knuble named as the Curt Hammer Award winner for the 22-23 USHL season," said Fargo GM Cary Eades. “Cole exemplifies everything Curt Hammer stood for and has made a lasting impact both on and off the ice during his two seasons in Fargo. He is a leader by example. On the ice, his consistent high level of play in all areas is a big reason we won the Anderson Cup and now are in the Clark Cup Finals.
“His development as a player should guarantee that his name will be called at the NHL Draft at Nashville in June. As importantly, Cole has been a leader for the Force off the ice as well and has contributed to the Fargo/Moorhead area in many ways by donating his time to community and team related activities.”