CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI- Undoubtedly, Connor Szmul is a natural leader for the Chippewa Steel on and off the ice. His passion for the sport of hockey is derived from spending countless hours at his local skating rink, and from there Szmul’s talent truly flourished.
Connor was first introduced to hockey at the age of five while living in Dallas, Texas. Connor’s parents began taking him to a local rink at just three years old in order to learn to skate. From there he found his love for hockey and claimed to never want to leave the ice. Although no one in his family played before him, Connor’s passion for the game inspired his younger brother to join the sport as well. Connor’s family later moved to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado where he continued to play up until the junior level.
Szmul joined the Chippewa Steel in their 2018-19 season and was the second highest goal scorer on the team. His fast and skilled style of play has continued to add to the Steel’s success this year as he leads the team in points with 40 overall. His latest goal scored even led the Steel to an overtime victory against the Minnesota Wilderness this past weekend. Szmul says he likes to model his playing style after his favorite NHL player, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
When asked about his future plans, Szmul said that continuing on to play college hockey has always been a dream of his. Connor just recently announced his commitment to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA division one hockey program. Besides hockey, Connor said he is interested in possibly studying a branch of the sciences while in college in addition to continuing to play the sport he loves.
The Chippewa Steel are members of the NAHL which is the oldest and largest junior hockey league of its kind in the United States and one of only two USA Hockey-certified leagues that operate under the non pay-to-play model. The NAHL is also one of the best at advancing players to NCAA and professional hockey. Notable Alumni of the NAHL include Ryan Suter (MIN), Patrick Kane (CHI) and Phil Kessel (ARI) All league games are viewable via HockeyTV. For more information, visit chippewasteelhockey.com.