2004-05: Despite missing a portion of his rookie season with a shoulder injury, McKnight enjoyed a successful first year with Minnesota-Duluth. He led all Bulldogs rookies in scoring with 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists) playing in 30 games. McKnight capped his first year as the recipient of UMD’s Rookie of the Year award.
2005-06: McKnight’s sophomore season saw a more mature, well-rounded player emerge on a very young UMD team. He finished the season third on the team in scoring with 25 points (9 goals, 16 assists) playing in all 40 games. McKnight’s 16 assists ranked tied for second on the team while his five power play tallies ranked third.
2006-07: Matt McKnight served as one of Minnesota-Duluth’s assistant captains and it was in the area of his leadership that he perhaps made the biggest impact this season. After a strong sophomore campaign last year, McKnight’s numbers fell this season. Part of it could be attributed to the arm injury that forced him out of the lineup for nine games. Nevertheless, McKnight proved to be a valuable asset for the Bulldogs, playing in all situations and being one of the team’s top faceoff specialists. The Halkirk, AB native posted nine points (four goals, five assists) in 29 games this season.
One area that immediately jumps out about McKnight as far as his maturity is concerned has been in his strong leadership. On a very young Bulldogs team this past season, McKnight was stabilizing presence that helped to solidify the team. One of McKnight’s best attributes is unselfish play. He is the consummate team player and can often be found distributing the puck more often than shooting it. McKnight possesses good on-ice vision and has little trouble finding open teammates. He has made great progress in his work along the boards and in the corners as well as the physical side of the game. He can be found playing the body more frequently and is more assertive in his ability to finish his checks. McKnight is a solid defensive player who is very good in penalty killing situations and will block shots if necessary. One area where McKnight could improve is shooting the puck more often.
McKnight will enter his senior year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth this fall where he will serve as the team’s captain.