2015 NHL Re-Draft 1st Round: Boston Bruins Build Dynasty, Eichel to Toronto

First pick Connor McDavid, second pick Jack Eichel, and third pick Dylan Strome (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
First pick Connor McDavid, second pick Jack Eichel, and third pick Dylan Strome (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – FEBRUARY 01: Kyle Connor #81 of the Winnipeg Jets looks on after scoring during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on February 01, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – FEBRUARY 01: Kyle Connor #81 of the Winnipeg Jets looks on after scoring during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on February 01, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Columbus Blue Jackets #8: LW Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms – USHL)

Original Pick #8: D Zach Werenski (University of Michigan – NCAA)

While Zach Werenski is obviously their first pick, Connor isn’t the worst consolation prize in the world. At 6’1″ – 185 lbs. this speed demon from Clinton Township, Michigan, is establishing himself as an elite forward in the NHL who fell into the lap of the Winnipeg Jets.

It’s not often an NHL team drafts a player from the USHL in the 1st-Round, but based on where he’s at now in his career, it’s a wonder how he wasn’t taken in the top ten of the 2015 Draft. In his final season with Youngstown, Kyle Conner led the team in points with 14 more than the second-most on the team. He notched 34 goals and 46 assists in 56-games played, showcasing elite offensive productivity and a sound two-way game.

After being drafted following that season, the Jets wanted him to take an extra year to mature and develop and so Kyle Connor took packed his bag as he was headed home to Michigan to play in Ann Arbor for the University of Michigan. Surprising to none, he dominated the NCAA in the 2015-16 season recording 35 goals and 36 assists in just 38 games. Not the worst stat line you could have.

Alas, despite spending half of his rookie season playing for Winnipeg’s farm team in Manitoba during 2016-17 and the first four matchups in 2017-18, Kyle Connor has since cemented himself in the Jet’s lineup and a top-line winger. Turns out Michigan is a hotbed for elite hockey players. Who knew?