May 2, 1992 |
Campbell River, BC, CAN
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||213 lb (97 kg; 15 st 3 lb)|
|NHL team (P)
|Tampa Bay Lightning
Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
|NHL Draft||6th overall, 2010
Tampa Bay Lightning
Brett Connolly (born May 2, 1992) is a Canadian ice hockey player for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL) and a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning 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.
Born in Campbell River, 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.
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.
Brett Connolly as a member of Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championships
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
|Silver||2011 United States|
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament|
|Gold||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||—||—||—||—||—|
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.
- "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.
- "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". 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