You read it right. Boston Bruins recently acquired the 22 year old hockey player from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2015 and 2016 2nd round draft pick.
If you remember, the Campbell River native was selected in the first round and drafted 6th overall back in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Lightning.
The former Tampa Bay first-rounder has managed to appear in 68 games as a rookie in the 2011 to 2012 season. Even though he wasn’t able to seize any hockey opportunities the following season, he managed to get back on the game and become a full-time NHLer after two years.
In 50 games with Lightning, Connolly has scored 12 goals and three assists. And in the duration of 134-game career in Lightning, he had 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points.
Tampa Bay Lightning is known for placing a lot of faith in young players. And this is the reason why Connolly left the team. He was getting passed up by these young players, thus cementing his decision to trade.
The recent trade was a rather surprising move though, as the Bruins were rumored to be pursuing established veterans Antoine Vermette and Erik Cole, but both turned out to be traded to other teams. It was still a good trade, considering Connolly only comes with a $851,000 cap hit and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
The Twitterverse was also abuzz with the recent trade.
“Did I just stay awake for Brett Connolly to Boston?”
Mike Halford (@HalfordPHT) of Pro Hockey Talk tweeted.
Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) of Next Impulse Sports said,
“Connolly is a RFA at season’s end, which could be interesting for the Reilly Smith situation.”
These criticisms are not unfounded though as Connolly is known to have a rather underwhelming NHL career the past years. But since he’s still young, he still has a lot of time and opportunities to step up his hockey career.
Let’s just hope that the trade will benefit both Connolly and the Boston Bruins. We’ll see…