Shining new All-Star

Connor pumped to showcase his talents in Las Vegas

Advertisement

Advertise with us

PHILADELPHIA – Kyle Connor is having a breakout season this year, leading the Jets in goals (24) and points (44) at the midway mark of the season. He’s developed into a leader and a true driver on a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and, recently, rookie Cole Perfetti.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/01/2022 (299 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PHILADELPHIA – Kyle Connor is having a breakout season this year, leading the Jets in goals (24) and points (44) at the midway mark of the season. He’s developed into a leader and a true driver on a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and, recently, rookie Cole Perfetti.

It’s been the kind of run by the Jets forward that has caught not only the eyes of teammates and fans in Winnipeg, but also across the entire NHL. And as the regular season gets put on hold later this week, the 25-year-old Connor is among the selected few to be invited to the NHL’s all-star weekend festivities, which take place among the bright lights of Las Vegas, Feb. 4 and 5.

“It’s going to be a pretty cool experience,” Connor told the Free Press after the Jets practice Monday at the Penn Ice Rink in downtown Philadelphia, “just important to have some fun and enjoy the weekend.”

Winnipeg Jets’ Kyle Connor is leading the team in goals (24) and points (44) at the midway mark of the season. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Jets haven’t had a lot of joy in recent weeks, having just snapped a six-game losing streak Saturday in St. Louis against the Blues. Back home, they’ve had several home games postponed owing to COVID-19 health restrictions that has limited attendance at Canada Life Centre to 250 people.

Connor – who will be taking part in his first all-star appearance, one of 10 player representing the Central Division team – won’t have that issue in the U.S., where restrictions are much looser, with T-Mobile Arena expected to be packed for the annual NHL talent showcase. The weekend kicks off with a skills competition Friday, followed by the 3-on-3 tournament against the other three divisional teams.

While Connor said he didn’t know which exact event he’d be taking part in for the skills competition, he did note a particular interest in the breakaway challenge – “Try to get creative out there with a couple” – and accuracy shooting. A report by Sportsnet in mid-January had him listed as one of eight participants in the fastest skater, which also included the likes of Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Cale Makar out of Colorado.

Players sometimes are in multiple events.

“He can really fly,” Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey said. “Certainly, if he gets a little adrenaline going there is a good shot he could get it. I hope he does. Either that or accuracy shooting. I’d put him in those.”

Speaking of Morrissey, he was back with the club for the first time since contracting COVID-19 ahead of last Thursday’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Jets defenceman travelled to Minneapolis, and then New York, where he continued onto Phildelphia, finally meeting up with his teammates Sunday night.

Morrissey looked no worse for wear, having been asymptomatic the entire time. That allowed him to stay active, able to work out at home. He’ll be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Flyers.

“It’s one of those things where had we not been testing, I would have never known that I had COVID,” Morrissey said. “It’s weird because we’ve all played games in the past sick and whatnot. And then to be at home without any symptoms, it was a tough one. But I’m happy to be back and feeling good.”

Had Morrissey been in the exact same situation, only after the all-star break, he wouldn’t have had to miss any games. That’s because the NHL’s new COVID-19 testing rules, which include no testing for asymptomatic players, doesn’t kick until after the weekend.

“I was really happy with the way I’ve been playing. In the games leading up to that, I felt like I was getting on a pretty good roll,” Morrissey added. “So, just disappointing, frustrating to have to be out. But there’s nothing you can do about it; it is what it is.”

Jeff.Hamilton@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Sports

LOAD MORE SPORTS