Kyle Connor, No. 13 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, concluded 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, 177-pound left wing had 34 goals and a league-leading 80 points in 56 games for the Phantoms this season. Connor has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes at the conclusion of his USHL season. The Phantoms lost to the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the Eastern Conference semifinal round on April 20.
I would evaluate my season at Youngstown as a very successful one. Individually I felt like I developed my game and got stronger as the year progressed; although as a team we fell short of our ultimate goal, we still had a great year and accomplished a lot.
When NHL Central Scouting's final rankings came out [in April], I was still focused on the season and working hard to get better. I tried not to let the rankings, good or bad, influence my play.
One of the most memorable moments of the 2014-15 season was winning the Anderson Cup as the best team throughout the regular season (Youngstown finished 40-14-6, 86 points). Also as a team we set a new USHL record for most consecutive wins at 17, which was another memorable moment throughout the 2014-2015 season.
I think the thing I will remember most about the season was all of my teammates and the experiences we went through together. It was the closest team I've ever been a part of and I will definitely keep in touch with everybody.
I'm really looking forward to continuing my career at the University of Michigan and playing the next season under legendary head coach Red Berenson in the fall. Michigan does a tremendous job at developing players and getting them to the next level.
To prepare for the NHL Scouting Combine (on June 5-6) I will train with Rich Tremblay at ASP (Tremblay is the owner and head strength and conditioning coach of Athlete Strength and Performance, a facility located in Michigan). I will train to get ready for next season, and also do specific exercises to prepare for the Combine as well.
With the season coming to an end, it's unbelievable to think that a dream could become a reality in just two months at the NHL Draft.
Thanks for reading. I'll file another blog post from the Combine in Buffalo.
Follow Kyle Connor at: @KyleConnor18