Does being named Connor lead to NHL success?

Connor McDavid recently surpassed the peak of his career in points in a single season and continues to climb, with over 140 points (60+ goals, 80+ assists) in the season. Many people in hockey The world has considered this 26-year-old center as one of the best to ever play the game. He’s explosive, fools around with his swing, and is one of the fastest skaters in the league.

There’s also another Connor to keep an eye on.

The NHL’s 2023 draft class is headed by young superstar Connor Bedard. He went up 143 scores in the Western Hockey League (WHL). He is only 17 years old and has already broken international records such as the total points record at the World Youth Championship (previously held by Peter Forsberg). 36 points for Team Canada, and his 16 goals surpassed compatriot Jordan Eberle’s record of 14 at the WJC. His name is mentioned as someone with the potential to become a McDavid-like generational talent.

What is it about Connors?

Connor ranked 96th popular Boy names for babies born in 2021. Relatively common but this may not be a coincidence. Two extraordinary hockey players, both named Connor.

There are a handful of players in the league that have the first or last name Connor or some spelling variation. If you are named Connor are you destined to be a talented hockey player? Is Connor the best name in the NHL?

In addition to McDavid, there are nine other Connors or Conors at the NHL level:

  • Conor Sheary
  • Connor Brown
  • Conor Garland
  • Connor Clifton
  • Connor Dewar
  • Connor Murphy
  • Conor Timmins
  • Connor Ingram
  • Connor Hellebuyck

There is also Kyle Connor, who we are counting for our all-Connor lineup of current players even though it’s his last name.

Let’s break it down

Analyzing our starting five, we’ve got McDavid at center and Sheary and Garland on the left and right wing. Sheary is a two-time Stanley Cup champion whose gameplay is headlined by his physicality, willingness to fight for the puck, and to score when his team needs it the most. The left wing currently has over 30 points on the season.

Garland is a physical winger, much like Sheary, who creates separation between himself and his opponent. He had 27 assists through the first 73 games, proving his ability to create chances with the puck.

Now, Timmins could go here, but a veteran guy with tons of experience is the better choice to help bolster the blue line. In that case, Murphy has been consistent on defense for the Chicago Blackhawks. A defenseman whose play is characterized by his ability to match up and read the body well, he is reliable and can play a hefty amount of minutes.

We could put Timmins here too, but Kyle Connor is one of the best defensemen in the league right now. If we are trying to win, Kyle Connor needs to be on this first pairing. The blueliner currently notched 75 points through 75 games, and was coincidentally drafted in the same class as McDavid, albeit 16 spots later. He is the dictionary definition of an offensive defenseman. He can score, generate offense and he is fast, which comes in handy on the powerplay.

And lastly, Hellebuyck. The Winnipeg Jet netminder is in the conversation for the Vezina trophy again as one of the best goaltenders of the league. He won the award in the 2019-2020 season and has consistently been solid for the Jets. They have rallied their defense around him and in return, he gives them a chance to win every single night. He currently has a .918 percentage savings and 32-23 record.

Starting lineup

In short; Here’s what we’re looking for:

Conor Sheary – Conor McDavid – Conor Garland
Connor Murphy – Kyle Connor
Connor Hellebuyck

The all-Connor line on paper looks pretty good.

Let’s put it to the test

To really test its effectiveness, compare Connor’s lineup to the league’s best team, the Boston Bruins.

Boston’s first line against the Nashville Predators on March 28 was:

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake Debrusk
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Linus Ullmark

Starting from the head-to-head round, we had two very elite centers in Bergeron and McDavid. Through that match, Bergeron had win 60.6 percent of all the confrontations he’s made this season against McDavid’s 51.4 percentage win. McDavid has even said in the past that he learn Bergeron’s game because he’s one of the best two-lane centers in the game. This game feels very balanced, as McDavid is dominant in attack, but Bergeron will play superbly defensively and help create plays.

Wings the match looks like its physical. Debrusk has better hands than Sheary, but Sheary has slightly better perception. Even so, Marchand ran all over Garland. Marchand is a pest, in every sense of the word. Physically, has a great shot, enjoys chirping and messing around with those around him, and if he frustrates Garland enough to take a penalty, then Marchand is one of the strikers to come out. The best in the tournament in terms of strength play.

Boston’s defense is extremely offensive. This is not a problem as long as Hellebuyck is playing to the best of his ability, as he will see a lot of shots from the point and a lot of fouls made from the green line. The all-Connor defense will play really well in their area and be really solid. The secret to winning this hypothetical game against Boston will come from taking care of the ball, taking advantage of quality opportunities and playing solid defense.


Connor (and its variations) To be Definitely the most skilled name in all of sports, even if it’s not the most popular. Adding Bedard to Connor’s roster could make it one of the most skilled teams when he comes into the league. Perhaps the name Connor alone gives you a complete advantage. Either way, McDavid is the most exciting player in the league right now and Bedard will be the most exciting going forward and fans will get to experience the two of them in the NHL for the foreseeable future.


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