Michigan’s Connor, leader in goals, points, is USCHO’s pick as top rookie, player

Kyle Connor’s only season at Michigan produced 35 goals and 71 points (photo: Michael Dubicki).

In the last 15 seasons, four players have been both the top goal-scorer in Division I men’s hockey and the nation’s leader in points.

To the list that includes Colorado College Peter Sejna in 2002-03, Boston College’s Nathan Gerbe in 2007-08 and the Eagles’ Johnny Gaudreau in 2013-14, add Michigan freshman Kyle Connor this season.

Connor scored 35 goals and netted 71 points in helping the Wolverines end a three-year NCAA tournament drought.

The national-best point total equaled the figure posted by Boston University rookie Jack Eichel in his Hobey Baker Award-winning season in 2014-15.

Connor didn’t win the Hobey this season — that went to Harvard senior Jimmy Vesey — but the Michigan rookie was USCHO’s choice as the top rookie and player in Division I men’s hockey.

Connor, a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets who signed with the NHL team on Monday, was part of the Michigan first line that made history by all being named to the list of 10 Hobey finalists.

JT Compher was second nationally in scoring with 63 points, while Tyler Motte was second in goals with 32.

Connor started his collegiate career with a two-goal performance and added 11 other multiple-goal games. He scored four times in a Big Ten semifinal victory over Penn State and had a hat trick against Minnesota on Dec. 11.

He finished the season with a 27-game point-scoring streak and recorded at least one point in 35 of 38 games.

USCHO’s postseason awards were selected by USCHO staff members during the Frozen Four.

The All-USCHO teams were unveiled Wednesday and the coach of the year was named Thursday.


  1. Would have liked to see him in a conference that actually had defense. Look what happened when they played the Sioux. Completely shut down.

    • Michigan had the 27th ranked strength of schedule. This fact was seemingly ignored not only for these awards but the All USCHO teams also. Michigan had the same number of players on them as the Sioux who curb stomped them. These guys are all great hockey players but have some common sense.

  2. He is a good player, but great players make great plays against great teams at huge moments. He did nothing against North Dakota. More choice.

  3. If I had the first pick of any player in college hockey for a match against another team picked in a similar way, would I pick Kyle Connor? Would you pick Kyle Connor?

    He would make one of the 2 teams but he would not be my first pick. A great player but not the best.

    But these awards are beauty contests. So, congratulations to Kyle Connor.

  4. Did you all give any consideration to the competition or lack thereof?

    Boeser proved himself against the best. Connor probably not even the best freshman in the country.

  5. Boeser still walks away from this a natty champion and a hero in our hearts, where as Connor gets left behind in the regional championship

  6. Little off topic, but the Big Ten and NCHC should set up a neutral site big ten vs NCHC weekend annually for example say UND and Denver along with Mich and the Goophers teams swap opponents for Saturday night would be a great weekend of hockey


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