Student-Athlete Strong: Maxim Letunov

Maxim Letunov attends a communication class at Monteith Hall on March 23, 2018. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Maxim Letunov attends a communication class at Monteith Hall. 'There is so much more to being an athlete in college than people think,' says the ice hockey player. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn’s student-athletes are often lauded for their on-field or on-court achievements, but there’s an equally important – often unseen – dimension to the student-athlete. UConn Today’s Student-Athlete Strong series highlights the academic prowess of selected high-achieving student-athletes and provides an inside look at their lives beyond their sport.

Maxim Letunov ’19 (CLAS)

Hometown and high school: Moscow, Russia; Ursuline High School, Youngstown, Ohio

Sport: Men’s Ice Hockey

Area of study: Communication

Anticipated graduation: Letunov is Class of 2019, but is leaving after his junior year to play in the NHL.

Congratulations on your best Hockey East finish in program history! What ran through your head after scoring the game winning goal during overtime against BU?
It was an incredible feeling.  I couldn’t really hear the noise in the building. After the puck went into the net, I just remember seeing all of the guys jump off the bench and sprint towards me.

#StudentBeforeAthlete – do you agree?
I don’t agree or disagree, but I can tell you that there is so much more to being an athlete in college than people think. Sometimes school comes before hockey, because you need good grades to be able to participate, but sometimes hockey becomes the focus, like recently when the team went to the Hockey East playoffs.

Are you involved in any other activities or groups on campus?
No, I’m not. My focus has been on playing hockey and being a student-athlete.

What is your favorite class and why?
Comm 3300, because of a lot of videos in class which add to the lectures and make them really interesting. Sometimes, the class seems to just fly by.

What does it mean to you to be a Husky?
Being a student-athlete at UConn really means to me having a second family.

Letunov will play professionally next year. At season’s end, he signed a contract with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.