A lot of eyes are on a young defenseman of the NCAA, according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman.
In his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet, Friedman reveals that seven NHL teams are in the mix to try and land Minnesota State-Mankato blue liner Connor Mackey.
The kid is believed to have an interest for the big league and the possibility of joining a Canadian team.
While Friedman did not dress a list of all the seven teams looking to land the defenseman, he did point out that the Winnipeg Jets are believed to be one of the club interested in his services.
“One free-agent note to keep an eye on: left-shot defender Connor Mackey of NCAA Minnesota State-Mankato decided to stay in school after last season instead of going to the NHL. There is word approximately seven NHL teams met with him in September to discuss his future. It is believed there is Canadian interest — father David was born in New Westminster, B.C., and played 126 NHL games for Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis. I’d have to think the Jets would be among the interested parties.”
Mackey has been on the radar of several teams ever since the 2016-2017 season in which he scored 47 points in 60 games during his last year in the USHL. He attended Buffalo Sabres development camp in the summer of 2018, and worked with the Calgary Flames in 2017 after being named the USHL defenseman of the year.
This season, the 6-foot-2 player has collected four points after just six games in the NCAA's first division.