Former Manitoba Junior Hockey League defenceman Connor Smith has officially announced his commitment to the Aurora University Spartans of the ACHA. The 20-year-old finished his junior career with the Neepawa Natives following stints in six different leagues over the past four seasons.
Born in Santa Margarita, California, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound blueliner put up his best offensive season on record with the Natives in 2019-20, registering six goals, 23 points and 12 penalty minutes in 49 league games. He also earned both the Hardest Worker and Top Defenceman awards with Neepawa.
Following one season with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks U-18 program, Smith went on to play 43 games for the Battlefords North Stars in the SJHL, before suiting up for two games with the VIJHL’s Oceanside Generals. Drafted 50th overall by Topeka of the NAHL in 2018, he then played 39 games for the Pilots, before finishing the 2018-19 season with the Syracuse Jr. Stars of the NCDC. The 2019-20 COVID-19 shortened season was spent solely in Manitoba with the Natives following an early-season trade.
Now moving to Illinois, Smith was sent on his way with well-wishes from Neepawa head coach Ken Pearson.
“Connor was a great acquisition for us in October,” Ken Pearson reflected. “He played fantastic for us in all situations, and was an outstanding citizen in our community and a leader for our young defencemen.”