When the drafted started to unfold the other night, and the Bolts pick was up, I was sure that we were going to take either Cam Fowler or Brandon Gormley. I was actually leaning towards Gormley myself, and thought he would have been a great pick for our steadily improving blueline.
Steve Yzerman surprised just about everyone (including all the Bolts beat writers) and took winger Brett Connolly. We actually needed a top line young winger more than a Dman, but I just didn’t think the Bolts would take the chance on Connolly with his injury history.
Connolly is only the 2nd 16 year old to post a 30 goal season in the WHL since Patrick Marleau did it in 1996. The kid can play, and has a chance to be on the top line after training camp gets out.
Jeff Marek of the CBC had these tweets on Friday night regarding Connolly…
Connolly + Stamkos on the same team? Yikes.
8:07 PM Jun 25th via web
If healthy Connolly could be the biggest steal of the draft.
8:06 PM Jun 25th via web
Tampa selects Brett Connolly 6th overall. Tampa may have hit it out of the park with this pick.
8:02 PM Jun 25th via web
When someone of Marek’s clout says things like that, you have to be excited as a fan of the Bolts.
2006-07: Chosen by the Prince George Cougars in the first round (10the overall) of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.
2007-08: Played in 4 games for the Cougars, picking up no points in thos games.
2008-09: In his WHL rookie season, Connolly scored 30 goals and added 30 assists for 60 points in 65 games for the Cougars. He was named the 2008-09 WHL Rookie of the Year. Scored 3 goals and added 3 assists in 6 games for Team Canada at the Under-18 WJC.
2009-10: Suffered a hip injury at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament prior to the WHL season which caused him to miss a good portion of the season. Connolly played in 16 games for the Cougars, scoring 10 goals and chipping 9 assists for 19 points. He played in 4 playoff games for the Cougars, picking up 2 assists in those games. he was named to the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game but had to withdraw due to his injury.
A pure offensive talent who can make plays at a high rate of speed. Can score goals as well as set them up. He’ll have to show that he can handle the tougher going in the pro game, but a top=flight talent nonetheless.