2018-19 Team: London Knights (#11)
Date of Birth: January 15, 2001
Place of Birth: Ajax, Ontario
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 170 lbs.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 28th (among North American Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 20th
- Hockeyprospect.com: 29th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 22nd
- ISS Hockey: 29th
- Dobber Prospects: 27th
- Bob McKenzie: 26th
- Craig Button: 33rd
The major piece that the London Knights picked up in their Robert Thomas deal with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Connor McMichael has solidified his role with the Knights over the past couple of seasons. Following the deal in 2017-18, the center put up just six points in 28 games – followed by a fat zero as the team was swept in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
This season has been much different, however, for the 18-year-old as he finished second on the team in points with 72 – behind Kevin Hancock who spent the majority of the year in Owen Sound before joining the Knights.
That said, McMichael has developed well in the Knights’ system with 36 goals this season and using his body to get into the grimy areas – making him a tough little player to play against. While he would ideally be a bit bigger in frame, McMichael has picked up the consistency of his play over the last calendar year and continues to develop into the same type of player that the Knights traded for him – Thomas.
McMichael plays well in the defensive zone, but the focus when it comes to this player is what he does on the offensive end. Give him another year in the London Knights’ system, playing under the Hunters and he should be a memorable first-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Connor McMichael – NHL Draft Projection
A fringe first-rounder, the Knights’ forward played himself into a possible top 31 pick this season. While there’s still potential that he could slide slightly to the top of the second round, McMichael should be a late first-round pick – somewhere between 25th and 31st overall.
“McMichael is an excellent two-way player with an extremely high hockey IQ. He is a very strong puck possession player. His anticipation is very good. He is a very effective forechecker and does not shy away from playing in the dirt areas. Once he adds more muscle and mass, he should become even more effective.” – Dominic Tiano/OHL Writers
“He’s got skill, he’s got very, very good hockey sense, he can make plays and score and he has a deceptive shot as well.” – Rob Simpson/London Knights Associate General Manager
“McMichael leads the top tier London Knights in points and drives the play on a consistent basis, reminding me of Auston Matthews because he loves to rove around the hash marks and unleash his shot. One of his biggest assets is how the puck always seems to find his stick. He has a knack for knowing how to be in the right place at the right time which is an elite skill that is found in many top players at the NHL level.” – Marcus Griep/Dobber Prospects
- Shot and release
- Hockey IQ and instincts
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Size and filling out his frame
Taken at face value, McMichael won’t be an immediate impact player at the NHL level. He may start as a bottom six forward – the way that Robert Thomas has in St. Louis this season – but has the potential to climb into a top-six role as he develops into a legitimate pro. He has the offensive ability, but it’ll come down to his overall consistency.
Risk – 3/5 | Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10 | Defence – 7/10
The awards section is light for the 18-year-old at this point, but it’s not likely going to stay that way for long. While there aren’t any league-wide awards to discuss, McMichael did win the Knights’ Race to the Coulter’s Three Star Cup – having been named one of the three stars for games the most times this season.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.