The 6’1 left-winger Kyle Connor has severe speed, and then some. He’s also been one of the most dominant players the USHL has seen.
The Jets future looks very fast on the wings, with Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor.
We continue our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #2.
Here is Connor’s Player Cohort Success over the since his pre-draft eligible season:
PCS% is the percentage of similar players in height, league, scoring, and age that made the NHL, while PCS points per game is the production typical of those that did make it.
At only 15-years old, Kyle Connor was the 7th highest U18 scorer in the USHL with 41 points, and his point per game pace was 14th in the NHL.
The next season Connor jumped up to the highest scoring U18 scorer, and the second highest regardless of age. While Jack Eichel was the USHL’s highest points per game player Connor came in at third with 74 points in 56 games.
The next year saw 17-year-old Connor leading the USHL in points and behind only Auston Mathews and Mathews’ winger, and Jets other first round draft pick, Jack Roslovic.
Due to these dominant numbers and his size, PCS shines brightly on Connor. He statistically compares favorably to Thomas Vanek, Patrick Sharp, and, at worse, Erik Cole.
What these numbers do not mention or take into account is how much of the Youngstown Phantom’s offense is being driven by Connor. At 17, Connor connected on about 37% of his team’s points. At 16, Connor connected on about 46% of his team’s points.
If Connor was with an elite centre, like Matthews, one only wonders how much more he would have scored.
While Connor is listed in many places as a centre, he has mostly played wing. However, the University of Michigan has lost the bulk of their centre depth this summer and may shift Connor back. Ultimately though Connor projects as a winger who likes to blow by the competition from the outside and drive to the net.
The speedy forward has a tonne of skill but will need time to develop and grow into his tall frame. The NCAA offers the Jets ample time for Connor to get there.
Jets fans should be excited.
Here are some highlights of Kyle Connor’s 2014-2015 season, courtesy of Jets Nations’ own Anthony Lenting: