Former Voodoos AP and Powassan product signs NHL deal

A former Powassan Voodoos affiliate and a Powassan native has signed an NHL deal.

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced Thursday the club has signed North Bay area defenseman Connor Punnett to a three-year entry-level contract.

Punnett, 20, has registered 50 points (9-41—50) in 59 regular-season contests for the Oshawa Generals and Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Among OHL defensemen, he ranks second in penalty minutes (108), is tied for seventh in assists (41), and ranks eighth in points (50).

The Oshawa Generals defender who grew up in Powassan, split his AAA minor hockey between the North Bay Trappers and North Central Predators.

Punnett played four games with the Powassan Voodoos as an affiliate in 2018-19 before being selected in the first round of the 2019 OHL priority selection, 19th overall, by the Saginaw Spirit.

Connor and his family were also an original Powassan Voodoos billet family when the team joined the NOJHL in 2014.

Jim Bruce, Voodoos president, has known Connor and the Punnett family for a decade.

He is thrilled about the opportunity for Punnett.

“This opportunity came with a lot of challenges and obstacles but he is mentally and physically a tough individual and I wish him all the best,” said Bruce, who also employed Connor during the off-season.

In the summer of 2023, Punnett received an invitation to attend the Detroit Red Wings training camp last summer after going undrafted in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Punnett is the second former affiliate this year to sign an NHL deal as Justin Brazeau played his first NHL game with the Boston Bruins back in February.