Phantoms forward led the League in scoring
The United States Hockey League today announced that Kyle Connor of the Youngstown Phantoms has been named both the 2014-15 USHL Player of the Year and 2014-15 USHL Forward of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
Connor led the USHL in scoring with 80 points (34g, 46a) over 56 regular season games, breaking a record for points in a season by a Phantoms player that he set last season (74). His 34 goals were one shy of tying for the League lead while his 46 assists ranked tied for second overall. Connor led the USHL with nine game-winning goals, tying for the second-most in a season during the Tier 1 era (2002-present).
He tied a career high with five points (3g, 2a) in the 5-1 win against the Muskegon Lumberjacks on April 4th, including his second USHL career hat trick. His first goal of the game was his 30th of the season, giving him back-to-back 30-goal seasons after he netted 31 in 2013-14. Connor is just the second player in the Tier 1 era to have consecutive 30-goal seasons, joining Daniil Tarasov (Indiana Ice) who accomplished that feat during the 2011-12 season.
The 18-year-old Connor played a huge role in helping the Phantoms finish with the best record in the League (40-14-6) and capture the Anderson Cup title. He was the catalyst in the team putting together a Tier 1 record 17-game winning streak as he produced 30 points (15g, 15a) over that span, including six game-winning goals.
Connor helped the Phantoms score the most power play goals in the USHL (65), contributing to nearly half of them as he tied for the League lead with 32 power play points (7g, 25a). His 25 assists on the man-advantage were the most in the USHL since T.J. Tynan (Des Moines Buccaneers) recorded 26 during the 2009-10 season.
After leading the Phantoms to a record 40 wins and a playoff berth, Connor added four points (3g, 1a) in four postseason contests. He also recently earned recognition from USA Hockey as the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year, the 19th consecutive season that a USHL player has won the award.
Connor finishes his USHL career with 195 points (82g, 113a) in 174 regular season games. Connor is a product of the Belle Tire youth hockey program in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League and came to the USHL after being signed to a tender by the Phantoms prior to the 2012-13 season, one of the first players ever to be acquired with the League’s tender process.
The Shelby Township, Michigan native is a top prospect for the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft and projected to be selected in the first round. He will begin his college hockey career next season at the University of Michigan.
Connor is the first Phantoms player to win either the USHL Player of the Year or USHL Forward of the Year and is the 21st player in League history to win both awards in the same season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 350 players on team rosters this past season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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