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Road to the NHL Draft: Kyle Connor

Kyle Connor

Position: Left winger

Junior team: Youngstown (USHL)

Born: Clinton Township, Mich.

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 177 pounds

2014-15 stats: 56 games, 34 goals, 46 assists, 80 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 13 (North America)

Lowdown: Connor has quickly created a reputation as a record setter. He set the franchise record for points with 74 in 2013-14. For this season’s encore, he broke his own mark. The 80-point season helped him land United States Hockey League Player of the Year honors.

Connor’s speed sets him apart in America’s premier junior league. He’s equally fast with or without the puck, and his separation skills are impressive. He’s rounded out his two-way game, bringing his plus/minus rating from minus-15 to plus-3.

He’s not a physical player and will need to bulk up during his years at the University of Michigan. Increased size will improve his puck-protection skills.

He said it: “Midway through the season we were in fifth place looking up and I wanted to make a statement. I turned my season around at that point. … I think I took a lot of strides getting stronger throughout the season, my stride and skating ability and working on getting stronger.” – Connor.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.

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