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 has graciously offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla.
Hi hockey fans!
I finally arrived in Buffalo on Wednesday afternoon to get set for the All-American Prospects Game. It was fun traveling here since I've never been to downtown Buffalo, so it's been pretty cool. My roommate is none other than Jack Eichel … so this should be fun.
Kyle Connor has an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September. (Photo: USA Hockey)
I played with Jack on the Under-18 [U.S. National Team Development Program] and we both have 1996 birth years, so we kind of played against each other growing up. He's phenomenal. He's a great skater and very strong and powerful on the ice.
Getting the call to participate in this game was a huge thrill for me. It was something I was hoping for and I'm really excited about it. I do know a lot of the guys here either from playing against them or playing with some of them.
In addition to taking in the overall experience and having fun, I hope to capture the eye of a few scouts in this game. I just want to prove what I can do out there.
I think some of my strengths are my speed and vision in making players around me better; I try to use that to my advantage. I need to work on getting stronger, all-around.
I'm really excited about our upcoming season in Youngstown. We have a great group of guys and I think it'll be a special year for us. I really like the competition in the USHL. It really is one of the best junior leagues in the United States and the competition speaks for itself.
After the USHL, I'll attend the University of Michigan. I grew up in Michigan, so I was always watching football games and was always a fan. When they offered me a scholarship it was a no-brainer really. It's also pretty cool knowing I'll be coached by Red Berenson because he's produced so many NHL players and he's helped so many.
I know the draft is still a while away, but to go in the first round would be so surreal. To hear my name called that early would be something unbelievable, but we still have a ways to go and lot of work to do.
Thanks for reading. Until next time,