Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Minnesota Wild Trade Targets: Honorable Mention- Brett Connolly


    Make no mistake, Chuck Fletcher loves the 2010 NHL Draft Class. I think if he could go back in time, he'd trade every one on the 2009-10 Wild team for a first round pick in 2010.

    Brett Connolly is a player that has a lot to like about him. By all accounts, he's a dynamic offensive player who has top-end speed, and can score. He's not a small guy, listed at 6'2", 193 pounds. He's also had good production in the AHL, leading the Syracuse Crunch in points this season (57 in 63 games), while going 52G-68A in 137 AHL games the last two seasons.

    So stacked that Connolly could be squeezed out. Maybe to the point where Fletcher could be looking for "Finding Nino 2".

    With Jason Zucker seemingly in the doghouse, and potentially trade-bait, Connolly could be an upgrade to the speedy sniper role that Zucker currently fills in the system. The drawbacks to him is that he's young, and he hasn't produced in the NHL yet. But this was the case last year with Niederreiter. And then there's the fact that no one in the Wild system has the combination of speed, size, and shot that Connolly could offer. That makes him worth a flier right there, despite the risks.

    Connolly is a Restricted Free Agent this season, but with his lack of production in the NHL (2 goals in 16 games the last two seasons), getting him under contract wouldn't be a big-dollar commitment, and the Wild would have time to assess him before making a long-term deal to be part of the Wild's core.

    Here are what the lines could be if the Wild acquired Connolly:





    Pretty clear-cut lines. Parise-Granlund-Pom would be deployed to be your main scoring line. Nino-Kaptain-Coyle could be used to absorb tough minutes while being able to provide offense while doing so. Putting Connolly with Haula and either Fontaine or Zucker gives you the opportunity to overwhelm the opposition with speed, while a Cooke-Brodziak-Bulmer combination would be a pretty solid fourth line.


    There are reasons that Fletcher would actively avoid going after Connolly. First off, he may find Connolly a bit too similar to Zucker- why give up an asset if you have something in-house that could maybe perform that role? The Wild may be looking for a young, but still more experienced player in a trade. They've got plenty of 22-24 year-olds on their team. They may want to look for someone a bit more proven, someone around the age of 25-27. And lastly, Tampa Bay's General Manager is Steve Yzerman, who is notable for not being Garth Snow. Yzerman may not be willing to sell low on Connolly, and prefer holding onto him until he can get more value than he would now.

    I think Brett Connolly would be a worthwhile player to ask about acquiring in a trade. He offers another young, cheap scoring option for the Wild, and he has the kind of skill-set that the Wild could really use in order to take the next step. Throw in the fact that he may be under-valued, and this sounds really similar to the Nino Niederreiter situation Fletcher took advantage of last season.


    Hockey Wilderness will be continuing this Trade Target series every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the Draft.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...