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Youngstown prospect Connor reaches milestone

by Mike G. Morreale /

Youngstown Phantoms forward Kyle Connor, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, scored the 50th goal of his United States Hockey League career Oct. 11 to help lead his team to a 3-2 shootout victory against the Bloomington Thunder.

Connor, who played in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, has two goals and six points during a five-game point-scoring streak to open the season for Youngstown (3-2-0). The 6-foot-1, 182-pound left-handed shot has 50 goals and 121 points in 123 games in three seasons with the Phantoms.

"He's got a nice stride and quickness and he's good in tight spaces with the puck," Central Scouting's Greg Rajanen said. "I saw him against the [U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team] and he really elevated his game. He wants the puck, and when he gets it he makes things happen."

Connor, who is committed to the University of Michigan in 2015-16, is the 18th player in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) to reach the career 50-goal mark and the third to hit that milestone before turning 18 years old, following Taylor Cammarata (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2010-12) and Seth Ambroz (Omaha Lancers, 2008-11). Connor turns 18 on Dec. 9.


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