Connor is currently the starting goaltender for the Junior Islanders U18 squad, a team with big expectations and ambitions to compete for a USPHL Championship. Hailing from Bedford, New York, he played for current PAL coach Bob Thornton with the U19 Rockets last season and earned a spot at the USA Hockey Select 15 Camp.
"Goalies like him do not come around that often, at his age playing at such a high level," Thornton said. "Douglas is well ahead of the curve, especially playing with and against older players, and Princeton is getting a sure pro prospect."
Connor's commitment is for the 2018-19 season, when he'll be 18 years old. "I chose Princeton because of the educational opportunities, as well as the fact that I feel the program is on the rise and will only improve under Coach Fogarty."
He also sang the praises of his Junior Islanders coaches, Bob Thornton and Tony Samms.
"On the ice, Bob makes sure I get the best possible opportunities to improve myself by playing a lot of games throughout the season. Tony has played a huge role in my physical development over the past year and a half. He is consistently pushing me off the ice so that I can surpass my limits and achieve new standards, which has translated very well on the ice."
Very few goaltenders commit as young as Connor has, making Coach Thornton's comments about a "sure pro prospect" all the more accurate. "He will be in strong contention for the US National Team Development Program, and is playing at a higher level than any other '00 goaltender in the country," he added.
Director of Scouting Pete Judge agreed with Thronton's assessment. "Connor is one of, if not the best goaltender in the country in his age group. Having seen a lot of the '00 age group over the last year, he's been the most consistently impressive goalie. He should have a great shot at the NTDP."
"I also want to thank my family for the sacrifices they have made throughout the years," Connor added. "I want to thank any past coaches I've had, and especially my goalie coach Matt Volty who has invested so much time into making me the best possible goalie I can be."
Connor is one of hopefully many more commits to come out the Junior Islanders U18 program. With Thornton and Samms at the helm, the emphasis for this team is on the development of elite players. The roster has a very different, younger look to it than in previous years, with 11 out of 22 players born in 1999 or 2000. Having the support of the New York Islanders at Iceworks, where the U18 club trains, has been a key attraction for high-end talent in the region.