Feisty 2015 fifth-round pick Connor Hobbs is set to play his first professional season with the Hershey Bears this year after dominating the WHL. Hobbs scored 31 goals and tallied 85 points in 67 games for the Regina Pats.
Saturday night at GIANT Center, Hobbs made a big impact physically, landing the biggest hit of the game. Hobbs delivered a crushing bodycheck of 2014 seventh-round pick and Baby Penguins’ defenseman Jeff Taylor at the Penguins blue line.
You're probably going to want to keep your head up around Connor Hobbs this season. pic.twitter.com/1Hx3FxRhmi
— Chocolate Hockey (@ChocHockey) September 30, 2017
Video: Chocolate Hockey
Despite the bang-bang nature of the hit, Hobbs received a two-minute penalty for interference because Taylor did not have possession of the puck.
“I’ve had hits like that before,” Hobbs said to Chocolate Hockey’s Kyle Mace. “I think tonight’s hit was pretty dirty on my part. The puck was long gone. I just kind of decided to commit to it and keep going and just finish it anyway. It was a big hit.”
Hobbs also tallied a big assist late in the game.
With the Bears down 2-1 with under two minutes remaining, Hobbs and fellow rookie defenseman Lucas Johansen assisted on a Chris Bourque power-play goal to tie the game. The Bears also had their goaltender pulled to give them a six-on-four man advantage.
“It was a beautiful play by Gazley there,” Hobbs said. “Man that was a nice pass across. I just dove through. I think that’s pretty standard for Chris Bourque to be scoring there. It was a beauty. It was a timely goal.”
Three days earlier, Hobbs fought Baby Pens enforcer Patrick McGrath, a veteran of nearly 100 career fights.
Here’s the whole thing: pic.twitter.com/yLt4FpWYXJ
— Jason Iacona (@nafsnep) September 28, 2017
Hobbs, who some soon in the future could challenge for a roster spot on the Capitals, admitted however that he’s still learning how to pick his spots better as he adjusts to a new league.
“It’s definitely faster here,” Hobbs said. “It’s bigger, faster. Guys are stronger, smarter. It’s a learning process for me. We have the best coaching staff. It’s amazing and they’re here to help me. I just try to learn as much as I can from them and get better.”
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