CINCINNATI, OH (WKBN)-Amazing would be the perfect word to describe a near perfect freshman season for former Youngstown Phantom Kyle Connor.
He became the NCAA’s first true freshman to score at least 30 goals in a season since 2002, something that has maize and blue fans buzzing.
“He has speed, skill, size, he can get into the corners, said Nick Piscitelli, a Michigan fan from Pittsburgh. “When he gets the puck in open ice…You just never know what he is going to do.”
“It is a freshman and usually you would expect it for a senior, like a veteran more often and it is really amazing,” said Michael Calabret
Connor’s season ended Saturday as Michigan fell to North Dakota in the Regional Final of the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament in Cincinnati.
He told me after their win Friday against Notre Dame he has been living the dream of a lifetime this season.
“It has been a lot of fun,” said Connor at the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament in Cincinnati.
“I have always grown up wanting to play for Michigan and it has been awesome ever since I threw on the maize and blue.”
Connor says that his time in Youngstown has been crucial in his development.
“It was a big part of my life. Spent three years there, developed a lot in hockey and learned a lot from me as a person and a player so it means a lot.”
Several of Connor’s teammates from last year are still with the Phantoms this season and Connor keeps in close contact with his former teammates.
“They have been really supportive. They were my teammates and brothers for a long time there in Youngstown and we have built a good relationship and friendship with them.”
What’s next for Connor is a question. The Winnipeg Jets, the team that drafted Connor in the first round last summer, may come calling for his services as soon as this week. But the teenager could pass on the NHL for now and return back to Ann Arbor for his sophomore season with the Wolverines.