Connolly with the Boston Bruins during a pre-game warmup 11 April, 2015
May 2, 1992 |
Campbell River, BC, CAN
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||213 lb (97 kg; 15 st 3 lb)|
Tampa Bay Lightning
|NHL Draft||6th overall, 2010
Tampa Bay Lightning
Brett Connolly (born May 2, 1992) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). During his major junior career with the Prince George Cougars, he was named Western Hockey League (WHL) and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Rookie of the Year for the 2008–09 season. Selected sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he joined the team in 2011–12. Internationally, Connolly has represented Canada at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships, 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, 2011 IIHF U20 Championships and 2012 IIHF U20 Championships.
Raised in Prince George, British Columbia, Connolly was selected by his hometown Prince George Cougars as their first selection, 10th overall, in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft. As a 15-year-old, he played major midget for the Caribou Cougars in Prince George, while also appearing in four WHL games. He joined the WHL Cougars full-time in 2008–09, scoring 30 goals and 30 assists in 65 games. In doing so, Connolly became the first 16-year-old to score 30 goals in the WHL since Patrick Marleau in 1995–96. He was named the winner of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as WHL rookie of the year. The recognition made him one of three nominees for the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Rookie of the Year; he beat out the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Dmitri Kulikov and the Ontario Hockey League's Evgeny Grachev for the national distinction.
Conolly's second full WHL season was marred with hip problems. He played in just 12 of the Cougars' first 46 games and was sidelined from December 2009 before returning for the last four contests of the regular season. He was named to play in the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game, but did not participate. He recorded 19 points over 16 games.
Connolly was highly ranked for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He was listed as the sixth-best player amongst North American skaters for the draft in the International Scouting Services' mid-term rankings and finished the season 13th among all skaters. NHL Central Scouting ranked him fourth overall amongst North American skaters in their midterm rankings, before moving him up a spot in their final rankings. The Hockey News listed him at fourth overall in their list end-of-year list. Scouts described Connolly as a natural leader with good on-ice awareness who plays in the style of a power forward. Connolly compared himself to Columbus Blue Jackets power forward Rick Nash. Connolly was selected sixth overall in the draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Attending his first NHL training camp in September 2010, he was returned by the Lightning to the Cougars to continue at the junior level. Playing in his fourth WHL season, he was named captain of the Cougars and recorded 73 points over 59 games, leading his team in scoring.
On September 14, 2012, the Tampa Bay Lightning Assigned Connolly and 17 other players to the Syracuse Crunch during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. On April 4, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly appeared in 67 games with Syracuse this season, registering 27 goals and 57 points to go along with a plus-15 rating and 51 penalty minutes. Connolly ranks second on the Crunch for goals and points, and third for assists with 30. On April 12, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned Connolly to the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly skated in five games, tallying one goal on 10 shots. Connolly would help the Syracuse Crunch reach the Calder Cup final against the Grand Rapids Griffins, however the Crunch were defeated in 6 games.
Connolly had a very strong training camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting up 4 goals in the preseason. However, on September 29, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned Connolly to the Syracuse Crunch as they finalized their roster. What attributed to Connolly being cut this year was the line of Tyler Johnson, Ondřej Palát, and Richard Pánik, who as a unit had five goals and 10 points in four preseason games. This line is expected to serve as Tampa Bay's third line. This would have relegated Connolly to limited fourth line minutes. General Manager Steve Yzerman stated that "I don't want Brett playing on the fourth line. I want him playing a lot of minutes, he's got to go (to Syracuse) and be our top guy, be a leader and carry the team, if need be. That's another step for him. There's no plan to leave him there for any period of time." On October 17, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly has appeared in three games with the Crunch collecting one assist. Connolly appeared in one game with the Lightning before being reassigned on October 20, 2013. On October 31, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly skated in six games, collecting one assist. On November 22, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned Connolly to the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly appeared in 11 games with the Lightning this season, collecting a goal and four penalty minutes. During this stint, Connolly scored the game-winning goal on November 2 against the St. Louis Blues. Connolly was named to the 2014 AHL All-Stars roster. Connolly is third in scoring for the Crunch with 9 goals, 14 assists, and 23 points on the year.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Connolly made the Lightning in October 2011 out of training camp. He scored his first NHL goal on November 1, 2011 against Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes. His NHL rookie season was then interrupted when the Lightning loaned him to Canada's national junior team for a second appearance in the IIHF World U20 Championships.
On July 10, 2014, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced the re-signing of Connolly to a one-year, two-way contract. Connolly skated in 11 games with the Lightning last season, posting a goal and four penalty minutes. Connolly also appeared in 66 games with the Syracuse Crunch, recording 21 goals and 57 points to go along with 50 penalty minutes. Connolly lead the Crunch in points (57) and assists (36). On October 24, 2014, Connolly played in the first period against the Winnipeg Jets, but he would miss the rest of the game with a lower body injury. After being out for nearly a month, Connolly returned to the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, on November 20, 2014. On December 6, 2014, Connolly skated in his 100th NHL game in 3-1 Tampa Bay Lightning loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On March 2, 2015, the day of the trade deadline, Connolly was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for two second round draft picks (one in 2015 and one in 2016). On March 4, 2015 Connolly fractured his hand in his second skate with the Bruins. On April 3rd, 2015 Connolly made his debut with the Boston Bruins recording two assists in a Bruins 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Brett Connolly as a member of Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championships
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
|2011 United States|
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament|
|2009 Czech Republic|
|World U-17 Hockey Challenge|
Connolly made his international debut with Hockey Canada, representing Team Pacific[notes 1] at the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. He helped the team to the gold medal game, where they lost 5–1 to Team Ontario. Connolly recorded 8 points (3 goals and 5 assists) over 6 games. Several months later, he joined Team Canada for the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships. He scored six points in six games as Canada placed fourth. Connolly remained with the national under-18 team for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August 2009. Connolly recorded an assist in the gold medal game, helping Canada to a 9–2 win over Russia. During the tournament, Connolly hurt his hip, a nagging injury that sidelined him long-term throughout the following season.
Connolly returned to the under-18 team the following year for the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus. Connolly recorded one goal over four games, as Canada finished in fourth place for the second consecutive year.
Moving on to the under-20 level, Connoly joined Canada's junior team for the 2011 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York. He recorded three assists over seven games, as Canada won silver. They lost in the gold medal game to Russia. Playing in his NHL rookie season the following year, the Tampa Bay Lightning loaned Connolly to the national junior team for the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Regular season and playoffs
|2007–08||Prince George Cougars||WHL||4||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Prince George Cougars||WHL||65||30||30||60||38||4||0||2||2||6|
|2009–10||Prince George Cougars||WHL||16||10||9||19||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Prince George Cougars||WHL||59||46||27||73||26||1||0||0||0||0|
|2011–12||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||68||4||11||15||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||5||1||0||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||11||1||0||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||50||12||3||15||38||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy||2008–09|||
|CHL Rookie of the Year||2008–09|||
- Canada plays four regional teams – Pacific, West, Quebec and Ontario – at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge
- Flett, Cory and Watts, Jessie (ed.). 2008–09 WHL Guide. Western Hockey League. p. 99.
- Swanson, Jim (2007-06-15). "Cougars sign top draft pick". Prince George Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Brett Connolly player profile". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- Swanson, Jim (Winter 2009–10). "Draft Derby". Prospects Hockey Magazine (Canadian Hockey League): WHL3–WHL7.
- "WHL Rookie of the Year – Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-01-20.[dead link]
- "Rookie of the Year – Brett Connolly". Canadian Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-01-20.[dead link]
- Neal, Andy (2010-01-11). "NHL Central Scouting places Connolly fourth in mid-term rankings". Prince George Cougars Hockey Club. Retrieved 2010-01-20.[dead link]
- Kimelman, Adam (2009-10-10). "Connolly stands out among WHL's draft prospects". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- Kimelman, Adam (2010-01-12). "Connolly, Kabanov out of Top Prospects Game". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "International Scouting Services: Hall remains top draft pick". The Sports Network. 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- Pap, Elliott (2010-06-09). "Prince George's Brett Connolly survives hip ordeal to remain top NHL draft prospect". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "2010-11 Regular Season - Prince George Cougars". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (September 14, 2012). "Lightning Assign 18 Players to Syracuse of the AHL". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (April 4, 2013). "Lightning Recall Dana Tyrell, Brett Connolly From Syracuse". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (April 12, 2013). "Lightning Reassign Connolly, Johnson to Syracuse". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Axe, Brent (June 19, 2013). "Calder Cup Finals: The 2012-'13 Syracuse Crunch won't soon be forgotten even in defeat". Syracuse.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Cristodero, Damian (September 29, 2013). "Lightning sets roster, sends Drouin to juniors, Connolly to AHL". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Philp, W.B (October 17, 2013). "Lightning Recall Bretty Connolly". Lightning Shout. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (October 20, 2013). "Lightning Re-assign Brett Connolly to AHL Syracuse". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (October 31, 2013). "Lightning Recall Brett Connolly From Syracuse". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (November 22, 2013). "Lightning Re-assign Brett Connolly to AHL Syracuse". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Allovimo, Allokago (January 9, 2014). "Syracuse Crunch forward Brett Connolly is named an AHL All Star". SB Nation Raw Charge. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "Connolly, Smith-Pelly to join Canada's junior team camp". The Sports Network. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- Clarke, Ted (2012-01-10). "Cats deal Connolly, Marincin". Prince George Citizen (Prince George, British Columbia). Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Tampa Bay, Lightning (July 10, 2014). "Lightning Re-sign Brett Connolly". Lightning News. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Burns, Bryan (October 24, 2014). "Bolts explode for four goals in win over Winnipeg". Lightning Beat Writer. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Smith, Joe (November 18, 2014). "Lightning's Brett Connolly set to return". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- Burns, Bryan (November 20, 2014). "Lightning fall to Maple Leafs in Toronto". Lightning Beat Writer. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Burns, Bryan (December 6, 2014). "Bolts struggle to solve Bobrovsky in 3-1 loss to Blue Jackets". Lightning Beat Writer. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "Bruins acquire Brett Connolly from Lightning". Sportsnet. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- "Bruins score three goals in third, rally past Red Wings". NHL.com. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Team Pacific roster set for U-17 event". Harbour City Star. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Ontario wins second consecutive U17 gold medal". Hockey Canada. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Brett Connolly". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Player statistics by team – Canada" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
- "Canada hammers Russia 9-2 in U18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Hockey Tournament". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- Campbell, Ken (2010-06-04). "Campbell's Cuts: Hip injury makes Brett Connolly a draft-day wildcard". The Hockey News. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Player Statistics By Team" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- Brett Connolly's career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Brett Connolly's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
|Winner of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
|Winner of the CHL Rookie of the Year Award
|Tampa Bay Lightning first round draft pick