Prospect of the Week (4.16.12)

This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions.

We wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospect’s achievement on the ice.

This week’s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to … Cory Conacher, LW, Norfolk Admirals (AHL).

Cory Conacher was one of the best Lightning-related stories in training camp, at the AHL All-Star Game, and throughout the season, but here at season’s end he’s still making headlines.

This past week Conacher, who was already named the AHL Rookie of the Year, was named the AHL’s Most Valuable Player. Not bad for an undrafted rookie with diabetes who was constantly told he was too small.

The most perplexing question is how Conacher can win the MVP yet not make it as a First Team All-Star, but in the paraphrased words of Patrick Roy, Conacher can’t hear the reasons why he wasn’t a First Team All-Star because he’s got two trophies in his ears.

Conacher was the best – and most consistent – player on the league’s best team. A team that is entering the playoffs on a ridiculous 28-game win streak.

The MVP was already more than enough for Conacher, an undrafted free agent signee by the Bolts, to get our Prospect of the Week award, but he went out this past weekend and added five points to his total, including a hat trick on Sunday to win the AHL’s version of the Rocket Richard trophy for most goals (Willie Marshall Award).

Conacher finished his first professional season with 39 goals and 80 points in 75 games. He’s the leader in the clubhouse among a group of young forwards vying for limited spots on the Lightning’s NHL roster next season.

Don’t bet against him.

Previous BP Prospects of the Week:

Mark Barberio, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - April 11, 2012
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - April 4, 2012
Norfolk Admirals Hockey Club (AHL) - March 27, 2012
Richard Panik, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - March 21, 2012
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - March 13, 2012
Danick Gauthier, Saint John (QMJHL) - March 6, 2012
Matt Peca, Quinnipiac (NCAA) - February 29, 2012
Pat Nagle, Florida (ECHL) - February 21, 2012
Alex Hutchings, Florida (ECHL) - February 14, 2012
Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - February 6, 2012
Adam Wilcox, Tri-City (USHL) and Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - January 30, 2012
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr. (Russia) - January 24, 2012
Riku Helenius, JYP (Finland) - January 16, 2012
Brett Connolly, Canada (U20 WJC) - January 10, 2012
*Due to the Christmas break when few games below the NHL level were played, no POTW award was given.
Mark Barberio, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 19, 2011
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (OHL) - December 12, 2011
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 5, 2011
Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - November 28, 2011
Nikita Kucherov, Team Russia/CSKA Jr. (MHL) - November 21, 2011
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (OHL) - November 14, 2011
Dustin Tokarski, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - November 6, 2011
Riku Helenius, JYP (Finland) - October 30, 2011
Matthew Peca, Quinnipiac Bobcats - October 23, 2011
Radko Gudas, Norfolk Admirals - October 16, 2011
Carter Ashton, Norfolk Admirals - October 9, 2011
Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning - October 2, 2011
Mattias Ritola, Tampa Bay Lightning - September 25, 2011