Brett Connolly

Basics

Type: 
BP Alumni
Position: 
Right Wing
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
6.02
Weight: 
200
Born: 
05/02/1992
Age: 
22
Hometown: 
Prince George, BC
Acquired: 
2010 Draft (R1/#6)
Last Team: 
Tampa Bay (NHL)
Projects As: 
Scoring line forward
Prospect Ranking: 
1
Depth Chart Weight: 
4
Grad Date: 
02/11/2012

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2010
Draft Type: 
NHL Entry Draft
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
1
Pick No.: 
6
Draft Team: 
Prince George (WHL)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
07/10/2014
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$850 500
Contract Start Year: 
2014
Contract End Year: 
2015
Contract End Status: 
RFA
Salary: 
$850 500

Bio

Awards: 

2008-09

  • CHL All Rookie Team
  • CHL Rookie of the Year
  • U17 WHC Silver Medal
  • WHL Most Goals by Rookie (30)
  • WHL Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year)


2010-11

  • U20 WJC Silver Medal


2011-12

  • U20 WJC Bronze Medal
  • U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team


2012-13

  • AHL Player of the Month (February)
  • AHL Second All-Star Team


2013-14

  • AHL All Star Game

History: 

Connolly grew up in Prince George, British Columbia, and was drafted by his hometown Cougars 10th overall in the 2007 WHL Bantam draft. He made his WHL debut as a 15-year-old for the Cougars, playing in four games. As a 16-year-old, Connolly was one of the brightest young stars in Canadian juniors, earning WHL and CHL rookie of the year honors after becoming the first 16-year-old to score 30 goals in the WHL since Patrick Marleau. At 16 he frequently played on the same line as Lightning draftee Dana Tyrell before Tyrell suffered a knee injury. Tyrell’s first point of his final junior season was an assist earned on Connolly’s second career WHL goal.

Connolly had two hat tricks in his rookie year, November 1 vs. Kamloops and February 13 vs. Chilliwack.

Connolly’s draft year was marred by hip injuries that limited him to 16 games. He managed 10 goals and nine assists in those games, including a hat trick vs. Chilliwack in September.

Once thought to be a top-3 pick, he “fell” to No.6 overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, where he was taken by the Lightning.

He appeared in two preseason games with Tampa Bay prior to the 2010-2011 season, going scoreless with a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes.

Re-assigned to Prince George, Connolly was named captain of the Cougars for the season and earned at least a point in his first 14 games, including one stretch where he scored at least two goals in four out of five games. He had 11 two-goal games, but never any hat tricks on his way to 46 goals in 59 games – good enough for third in the league.

Connolly would have hit the 50-goal mark if not for two prolonged absences from his Cougars squad. The first, he was named to Team Canada for the World Junior Championships, a great honor for any young Canadian. Connolly earned three assists in seven games as Canada took home the silver. Connolly played mostly a third or fourth line role in the tournament.

The second absence came when he suffered a knee injury against Chilliwack January 12. He was expected to miss a month, but came back two weeks later and had a career best four points (two goals and two assists) in a win over Kamloops. He was a career worst minus-5 the following game vs. Kelowna, however.

The quick recovery from a knee injury would have gone a long way to prove he was not “injury prone,” but in the Cougars’ first playoff game against Kelowna he was hit into the boards awkwardly and separated his shoulder. The Cougars were swept in the series without him. Reports later said Connolly could have played had the Cougars advanced.

Connolly was invited to Canada’s national team development camp in the summer of 2011 and fared well, but again scared his fans when he was tripped in a scrimmage, hurt his leg, and was helped off the ice. It turned out to be a bad bruise and he played in both the Red vs. White games in the days that followed. He did not score in either contest.

As one of the few returning players from Canada’s 2011 world junior club, Connolly is expected to make the team and be one of its leaders.

Scouting Report

Scouting Comments: 

"(Connolly) makes an impact on the game without looking like he's even breaking a sweat." - Red Line Report

Strengths: 

Prior to his hip injuries, Connolly was a blend of great top end speed, agility, and world class hockey sense. He finds seams in the offensive zone and buries his chances with ruthless efficiency. He's also an underrated playmaker and penalty killer.

Weaknesses: 

Injuries. Connolly has had serious hip flexor problems in both of his hips which cost him much of his draft season, and there's some question if his skating ability will ever recover. He's also slight of build and needs to get bigger to win one-on-one puck battles. He's not terrible defensively, but his game in the defensive third does need refinement.

Projection: 

If he's healthy, the Lightning have a first line scoring winger for the next 10 years. Red Line compares Connolly to Sharks star Patrick Marleau in terms of his skills package. But, it's also a possibility that Connolly's injury problems never go away and he's a part time player a la Buffalo's Tim Connolly. High risk. High reward.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2007-2008 Cariboo CougarsBCMML38 16 1632 80|Playoffs6 4 15 10 
  Prince George CougarsWHL4 0 00 0|        
 2008-2009 Prince George CougarsWHL65 30 3060 38|Playoffs4 0 22
  Canada Pacific U17WHC-176 3 58 2|        
  Canada U18WJC-186 3 36 4|        
 2009-2010 Prince George CougarsWHL16 10 919 8|        
  Canada U18WJC-184 1 01 10|        
 2010-2011 Prince George CougarsWHL59 46 2773 26|Playoffs1 0 00
  Canada U20WJC-207 0 33 0|        
 2011-2012 Tampa Bay LightningNHL68 4 1115 30|        
  Canada U20WJC-206 5 16 4|        
 2012-2013 Tampa Bay LightningNHL5 1 01 0|        
  Syracuse CrunchAHL71 31 3263 53|Playoffs18 6 511 12 
 2013-2014 Tampa Bay LightningNHL11 1 01 4|        
  Syracuse CrunchAHL66 21 3657 50|        
 2014-2015 Tampa Bay LightningNHL9 2 02 12|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com