Kyle Connor, who was given an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September, enters his third season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League in 2014-15. Committed to the University of Michigan in 2015-16, the 6-foot-1, 182-pound center has 48 goals and 115 points in 118 career games with the Phantoms. Connor, who had one assist and three shots on goal in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 25, will contribute to a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla.
The All-American Prospects Game just ended and I have to say it really meant a lot to participate in a game like this. Being able to play with many of the best hockey players from around the country was a real honor. Our team [Team Mike Grier] won the game, 6-3, against Team Ed Olczyk.
I thought we played a really good game, stuck to the game plan of trying to get pucks deep and I think it obviously ended up working out for us. I thought there was a little pressure but I think everyone was more excited for the game than showing nerves out there. I'm trying not to think too much about the draft itself and try to take it day by day and game by game and just focus in on what I can control.
It felt good to get on the score sheet with an assist [on a goal by Connor Moynihan] in the third period but it's a result of working hard out there and trying to do the best I can. I was just trying to compete, using my speed to my advantage and work hard. I opened the game on a line with Jack Eichel and Jeremy Bracco, but then was on a line with Jack Roslovic and Moynihan and it seemed to give our team a little spark.
I did feel the goaltenders were unbelievable out there in the first period, making diving saves, but the second period kind of opened up a little bit and I think everyone starting getting more comfortable and it showed.
Overall, this was a cool experience to be a part of this game. To be able to hear from U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Ed Olczyk and a respected player like Mike Grier was a really great experience. I thought it was neat talking with the different media members; it was definitely different.
I'll file my next blog in November.
Until then, thanks for reading.