News:Brett Connolly was reassigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL Friday, the team's official Twitter account reports.
Analysis: In 67 games with Syracuse earlier this season, the 20-year-old recorded 27 goals and 30 assists. Brett Connolly has appeared in just five NHL games for the Lightnin this season, but the former sixth-overall pick has star potential.
News:Brett Connolly scored his first goal since Nov. 17, 2011, in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Penguins.
Analysis: The tally ends quite the scoreless span for Brett Connolly -- a ridiculous 54 games. The sixth overall pick in 2010 isn't likely to have too many more stretches like that; still just 20 years old, he's got big-time offensive talent and star upside.
News:Brett Connolly is currently eighth in goals (24) and seventh in points (52) in the AHL.
Analysis: He had a particularly great February with 15 points (seven goals) in 13 games and points in 12 of those 13 contests. He could come cheap from a keeper owner who might have soured on him after last year in the NHL.
News:Brett Connolly will begin this season in the AHL rather than with the Lightning, the Tampa Tribune reports. "We are extremely pleased with his development and his game continues to evolve. He's getting stronger and we are real happy with the amount of ice time that he is getting and he's scoring on a regular basis," GM Steve Yzerman said. "We felt at this time, for our needs in Tampa and the role that he would play here, he's better off playing there."
Analysis: The Lightning rushed Brett Connolly to the NHL last year and somewhat predictably he struggled, frequently becoming a healthy scratch down the stretch. He won't likely make an impact in this abbreviated season, but don't write his career off. He's making some progress in the AHL this year.
News:Brett Connolly was sent to the minors on Friday, according to the Tampa Bay Lightning Team Website.
Analysis:Brett Connolly's move to the AHL is part of preparations for a potential NHL lockout. Connolly had four goals and 11 assists in 68 games last season.
News:Brett Connolly spent the summer working out with hockey training guru, Gary Roberts, reports the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Analysis: He was right there alongside Steven Stamkos and we've seen what Roberts' methods have done for the best sniper in hockey. Brett Connolly was rushed into the NHL and didn't perform as well as anyone hoped, but working with Roberts all but assures the young man of significant growth in his game. We'd definitely put him on a sleeper list with this information.
News:Brett Connolly's assist Tuesday against the Bruins was his fourth helper in his last six games.
Analysis: He has elite skills and is still a teenager playing a man's game. It's nice to see his game starting to come around, and we should continue to see his game grow over the next couple seasons. Brett Connolly's keeper value may not be significant this year, but that will change after next season.
News:Brett Connolly will remain with the Bolts for the rest of the season, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: He could have been returned to his junior club prior to Monday's trade deadline, but the Bolts are clearly looking to the future and they seem to have big expectations for the rookie. Brett Connolly has seen some power-play time recently, but may not be ready to make a splash on the fantasy radar for another season or two.
News:Brett Connolly (healthy scratch) played 7:10 Saturday in his return to action. He did not register a shot but he did have one blocked shot.
Analysis: He did stop a scoring chance on a great backcheck, a move that's noticeable because it's the area his coach, Guy Boucher, says is his biggest weakness. Boucher believes Brett Connolly's struggles are like those of his teammate Steven Stamkos and Boston's Tyler Seguin, who both struggled as rookies and were benched. His future remains strong but he has almost no value in single-year formats.
Lightning's Connolly Will Be In Lineup Saturday Against Florida
News:Brett Connolly will be in the lineup for Saturday night's game against Florida, TampaBayLightning.com reports.
Analysis:Brett Connolly did not play on Thursday against Winnipeg. He has not seen more than 10 minutes on the ice in a game since January 7.
News:Brett Connolly has no points in his last 14 games, he has been demoted to the fourth line and his ice time has dropped below 10 minutes in seven of his last eight games.
Analysis: The Lightning has decided to continue his development with what the team is calling "tough love," according to the Tampa Bay Times. He has struggled defensively and his miscues have become front and center during team video sessions. Brett Connolly could find himself in the press box soon and it's clear that he needs to improve his play away from the puck to regain favor with his coaches.
News:Brett Connolly is expected to play against Montreal on Saturday, Tampa Tribune writer Erik Erlendsson reports.
Analysis:Brett Connolly is valued as a prospect, but he's a risky fantasy option given that he hasn't posted any points since Nov. 26.
Tampa GM Yzerman Impressed By Connolly's Junior Tourney Play
News: Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was impressed with Brett Connolly's performance at the recent World Junior Championships, reports Tampa Bay Times.
Analysis: "I thought Brett had a really good tournament," Yzerman said. "He was used in a little different role for him, which I think was very good." Brett Connolly was asked to crash and bang in a checking role, as well as work on Canada's penalty kill unit. He wasn't happy with the role initially but he shut up and did his job. And that resulted in strong leadership and five goals and an assist in six games. "I think he showed maturity and unselfishness to go with whatever was asked," continued Yzerman. Watch for the Bolts to ask the same of Connolly. It will suppress his fantasy value for now but enhance his value once he does become a top-sixer.
News:Brett Connolly has rejoined the Lightning and will be with the team in Montreal on Saturday, TampaBayLightning.com reports.
Analysis: The team hasn't said explicitly that he'll play Saturday, but it would seem a bit odd to have him travel only to sit out. We'll keep a lookout for something more conclusive.
Bolts' Connolly One Of Canada's Best At Junior Tourney
News:Brett Connolly was named one of Canada's top-three players at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Canada earned bronze in a 4-0 win over Finland on Thursday.
Analysis: He scored five goals and added one assist in six games, and provided strong leadership and checking for the Canadian squad.
News:Brett Connolly (lower body) was back on the ice Monday night for Team Canada during its intrasquad scrimmage and admitted he probably went overboard when he boarded (and injured) Panthers prospect Quinton Howden during the second period, reports TSN.ca.
Analysis: The hit elicited a gasp from the crowd and Brett Connolly served two minutes for boarding. Howden could barely get himself off the ice under his own steam and Canadian head coach Don Hay said Howden has an upper-body injury. "It's a tough play. I was just trying to finish my check," said Connolly, who added that he intended to apologize to Howden. "If I was to do it over again, maybe I would have held up. I felt bad." Connolly isn't a dirty player, but this could be an NHL-to-junior transition.
News:Brett Connolly suffered a lower-body injury in Sunday night's scrimmage at the Team Canada selection camp, reports TSN.ca.
Analysis: Thankfully it sounds minor but it's obviously not what the Lightning had in mind when they loaned him to the junior squad. "He's getting treatment right now," said head coach Don Hay. "We'll evaluate him again after the treatment and then we're hoping that he can take the pre-game warm-up tonight [Monday] and then play." Consider him day-to-day at this point.
News: The Lightning have granted permission for Brett Connolly to join Team Canada for the upcoming 2012 World Junior Championships, reports TSN.ca. He will join the team Friday in Calgary.
Analysis: So much for a boost to his fantasy value. But then again, the opportunity to play against -- and potentially dominate -- the best in his age class could seriously boost his confidence not to mention his fantasy value. Players coming out of this tourney rarely have higher trade value, particularly in keeper formats, so be prepared to leverage him into a possible big return.
Connolly: In Line For More Responsibility With Bolts?
News:Brett Connolly could be in line for increased responsibility for the Lightning after Martin St. Louis' injury.
Analysis: St. Louis took a puck to the face in practice Thursday and is out indefinitely with multiple facial fractures. Brett Connolly has the skill and speed to step up into an increased role; he may be worth nabbing off the wire.
News:Brett Connolly scored the first power-play goal of his NHL career in Thursday's win over Pittsburgh. It stood up as the game winner.
Analysis: After something of an adjustment to NHL life during October, Brett Connolly has actually potted four goals in seven games this month. He's more than holding his own as a 19-year-old although he hasn't entered the top rookie discussion ... yet. That could come sooner rather than later.
News:Brett Connolly scored the game winner in overtime on Wednesday.
Analysis: He punched it home from the low slot. Not only is this guy uber-talented he's also fearless in the kitchen. And that combination is going to net him a whole lot of fantasy points in the future. Keeper leaguers would be wise to inquire about his availability.
News:Brett Connolly potted a hard-earned goal in Friday's OT win over the Blackhawks.
Analysis: He was in the crease where he stopped the puck with his foot and then battled a sea of sticks to lift in a backhand. We knew he was skilled with speed but the tenacity comes as a bit of a surprise. He now has goals in back-to-back games.
News: Although coach Guy Boucher sat Brett Connolly for the third period of Saturday's game against Winnipeg because he tried to be a little to fancy at center ice and lost the puck a few times, Connolly is living up to the demands of his coach and is demonstrating the kind of hard-working, humble attitude that will take him a long way in the NHL, reports the Tampa Tribune.
Analysis: "I took a period off, made a couple of mistakes," said Brett Connolly. " You've got to learn from that, be consistent, or you'll be sitting on the bench like I was. Whether I'm 19 or 29, I've got to prove myself every day." Boucher loved that response ... and rightfully so. "He has a little of the cockiness in him, but not the bad one, more the 'I'm going to show you' kind of stuff," said Boucher. " Yes, I made a mistake, but you'll see. I'll show you.' That's a very good type of mix. That's why we kept him." He's happy he got his first goal Tuesday night but he says, "I've got to keep proving to Mr. Yzerman and Mr. Boucher and my teammates that it was the right decision." This guy is going to go far, as he's already impressed enough that the Lightning plan to keep the 19-year-old on the roster the entire season.
News:Brett Connolly scored his first NHL goal in Tuesday's game against Carolina.
Analysis: He's playing well enough to skate on a scoring line with stars Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier. He has three points in his last five games. His fantasy value is still extremely limited in single-year leagues but his keeper value is outstanding.
News:Brett Connolly may have earned a job with the Lightning but general manager Steve Yzerman won't hesitate to return him to junior if he can't maintain his strong play, report the Tampa Tribune.
Analysis: "I can still send him back if he is not performing, if he is not doing the things we expect," said Yzerman. "He can't go backwards. I want to win, I want to have a good team and in order to do that we have to get better as the season goes on and get strong." Brett Connolly has shown the ability to improve his game each time out and he'll need to continue that to stay. He picked up his third assist Thursday.
News: The Lightning will keep Brett Connolly on their roster going forward, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Analysis:Brett Connolly, 19, the sixth overall draft pick in 2010 is still young enough to play juniors, which could delay the start of the prospect's three-year entry level contract. General manager Steve Yzerman feels that Connolly is NHL ready and coach Guy Boucher has been playing him with Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier.
News:Brett Connolly picked up an assist Saturday.
Analysis: It was his eighth game -- the Bolts have nine games to decide if he stays or goes back to his junior squad. His plus-minus is the second-best on the team, an indication that he certainly is not out of place in the NHL.
News:Brett Connolly has impressed the Lightning this season, earning him time on the top line for the last two games, and is making the team's roster decisions difficult as the critical ninth game approaches, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
Analysis: "He's surprised us," coach Guy Boucher said. "Opened eyes ... hopefully the next games he makes it real hard for us." He can play nine games before he must either return to junior or the clock starts ticking on his NHL contract. He is a tasty combo of speed, skill and size who cannot only skate with the likes of Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, but also crash the net and play smart. St. Louis said: "He's doing as good a job as a 19-year-old can do right now." Brett Connolly is plus-2 through five games and appears to be getting more and more comfortable with each passing game. He may be worth a waiver grab as a bottom-end roster filler if he sticks with the Bolts. This kid is super talented.
News:Brett Connolly practiced with Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis on Friday and could start with the duo on Saturday, reports Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.
Analysis:Brett Connolly actually saw a few shifts with the studs in a recent game and certainly has the smarts and skills to succeed in this role. We'll watch Saturday with interest -- this could be an impressive trio in the future.
News:Brett Connolly has made the opening night roster, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
Analysis: He has nine games to prove himself before his three-year" said the winger who went No. 6 overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. "It's every kid's dream to play in the NHL, but I still have to prove myself." No need to grab him off the wire yet -- he'll have to be outstanding in order to survive after nine games.
News:Brett Connolly's strong performance this preseason can be attributed to a challenge issued by general manager Steve Yzerman after the winger struggled so badly at last year's camp, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
Analysis: Yzerman challenged Brett Connolly to show some character and to work hard, something he didn't really do last year when he was overpowered by stronger, faster guys. "It was the same message I give to all of our players, but particularly the young guys," Yzerman said. "It's a process to become an NHL player and to be an impact player. There's a level of commitment and a certain work ethic you need to do. He needed to hear that." Connolly has blown the Bolts away with his increased strength, speed and poise, and he has a team-best three goals (and a tie for first with five points) this preseason. "I took a deep breath and looked in the mirror about where I wanted to be with my work ethic and really thinking, 'Am I giving it my all?'" said Connolly. "It was a good thing for (Yzerman) to give me a kick." He could get an extended look at the beginning of the season -- he has nine games to play before his contract kicks in.
News:Brett Connolly continues to make his case for a roster spot this season. He scored two goals, one of which came on the power play, in a 4-0 win over Montreal on Thursday night.
Analysis: This kid clearly has talent. But he's also showing a whole lot of perseverance, too -- his first goal came from his knees in front of the net after being walloped down. He started on a line with Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, and hasn't looked out of place one little bit.
News:Brett Connolly appears to have survived Sunday's cuts at Lightning camp, according to a cryptic tweet by Connolly himself just after lunch on Sunday.
Analysis: Two words: "montreal tomorrow." The AHL bus isn't headed to Montreal so it looks like he's in ... for now. He could still get the nine-game treatment like a lot of young players before he gets sent down. But it's a nice reward for an extremely talented winger.
News:Brett Connolly is pushing hard to earn a roster spot with the Lightning this season and his coach, Guy Boucher, likes what he sees in the skilled winger, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
Analysis: Boucher was quick to say Brett Connolly was "good again" after Friday's win over the Panthers where the winger picked up his second assist in as many nights and saw time on a line with Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. Connolly came to camp as a long shot but has shown a willingness to get to the net and mix things up physically. "That's what he's learned [from last year]," Boucher said. "Rather than coming in to show your skills, it's the opposite. You have to have some grit and the skills come out of it." He may still be cut but his willingness to adapt his game bodes well for a strong NHL and fantasy future.