The 25-year-old winger will make his professional hockey debut in Dundee this season and adds a big presence to the Stars attack, as well as grit and offensive ability.
Sills joins the club from the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, where he spent the past four years competing in the Canadian collegiate league, USports.
The 6’4” attacker has also previously played in the Ontario Hockey League for four years and prior to that he played for junior clubs in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Stars General Manager and Head Coach, Omar Pacha is thrilled to have Sills on his roster for the new season and believes he can add something new to the team.
Pacha said: “We are excited to have Connor join us because I think he can add that presence up front.
“He is a strong forward and he showed some good numbers in this past year, so he has that offensive touch too.
“But it is more for his gritty size and aggressiveness, which is maybe something we have lacked in the last few years – a power forward with presence that can play anywhere in the line-up from top to bottom, right to left to center.
“So, his versatility is something that I believe will be important!”
Omar continued: “Early on, we identified a few things that were certainly something we wanted to get in the market this summer.
“We were looking for a guy that skates well, has a bit of presence and has a bit more grit to his game.
“I felt we were missing that in the past, that gritty guy and someone who is strong in the corners, strong in front of the net and who has an offensive touch but I believe we have now found that in Connor.
“During the past four years at the University of Ottawa, Connor has seemed to progress as a player and has exploited his offensive skills, whilst still playing well defensively.
“Also, he is a great person and he is well recommended from his coach at Ottawa.
“He was a good teammate, he seemed to be well like on the team and he is a guy, that will just be a great presence for our team both on and off the ice.”
After signing his first professional contract, a delighted Sills said: “I chose Dundee because it is a beautiful city, they play in a great league and Coach Omar showed lots of interest in me as a player and as a person.
“He was very invested in who I was as a person as well as a player and that goes a long way in showing me how he runs things and treats his players.
“He had a lot of confidence in my play, so I think Dundee will definitely be a great opportunity for myself and somewhere I can help the team win.”
This will be the first time, the Canadian has played outside of North America and on making the switch across the Atlantic, Connor said: “Since I was a kid I always wanted to play hockey professionally.
“I have been persistent and worked hard at being the best player I can be and have been lucky to play in some great leagues, with some great teammates and great coaches that have pushed me and made showing up to the rink everyday so fun.
“I have always wanted to travel Europe and experience new cultures, so I think European hockey is a great fit for me.
“I don’t know anyone who has played in Dundee, but I do know a few players who have played in the Elite League in the past and they have had nothing but good things to say about their experiences.”
Connor’s career started in the Ontario junior leagues, as he played for Thunder Bay Kings and Thunder Bay North Stars between 2010 and 2012.
The 214lbs Canadian accumulated 84 points (49 goals + 35 assists) in the midget leagues after playing 157 games.
The winger, who can play either side was then drafted in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection Draft and was selected at 173rd overall (9th round) by Plymouth Whalers.
In 2012, Sills began playing with the Whalers and in his first year in Plymouth, he was teammates with current Washington Capitals forward and 2018 Stanley Cup Winner, Tom Wilson.
The right-handed shot played for the Whalers up until 2015, when he then moved to another OHL club, Flint Firebirds.
In his only year with the Firebirds, Sills was appointed as an alternate captain and put up 18 points (5+13) in 60 games, whilst collecting 132 penalty minutes.
During his four year OHL career, Connor played in 235 matches and scored 43 points (18+25), while spending 357 minutes in the sin bin.
Then in 2016, he signed with the University of Ottawa for the next four years and in 2018/2019 season, he was part of the Gee-Gees team that won the OUA East Division of the USports League.
Over the course of his four years with the University of Ottawa, Connor appeared 115 times for the Gee-Gees and racked up 63 points (33+30) and accumulated 175 penalty minutes.
Therefore, in his career so far, Sills has featured in 507 matches, scored 100 goals, assisted 90 times and has collected 711 penalty minutes.
Connor joins Craig Garrigan and Anthony Beauregard on the roster for next season and you can get your season tickets to watch these three and the rest of the team in the 2020-2021 campaign by contacting: [email protected]
Sills will wear the #23 Stars jersey next season and to view Connor’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE.
Below you can see clips of Connor’s best highlights.
Fearued Image: Greg Mason
Banner Image Source: Michigan Live