This week at Bolt Prospects we start our â€œMail Bagâ€ column. We have yet to come up with a creative name for it, so send us any and all suggestions. In the meantime (or regardless), weâ€™ll post obscure YouTube clips about mail.
The following questions were sent to us (Pete, Tim, Nigel and/or Chad) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), twitter (@boltprospects), Facebook (www.facebook.com/boltprospects), leaving a comment here with this column, or at our siteâ€™s online community forum (click the Forums tab on the home page).
On to the questionsâ€¦
Game nine for Lightning prospect Brett Connolly is tonight against the Buffalo Sabres in New York. If he plays a tenth game for the Lightning, his entry level contract kicks in and the Lightning are on the hook for his full salary this year. Heâ€™s also one year closer to restricted free agency.
Their only other choice is to return Connolly to Prince George of the Western Hockey League (Major Junior). Because he is not yet 20 years of age, he canâ€™t play in the development-friendly AHL with Norfolk.
So the question hovering over the heads of Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman and Head Coach Guy Boucher is â€œWhat to do with Connolly?â€
(Week ending October 2)
This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award. The award is (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions. There are no trophies or plaques or chocolate coins involved, but weâ€™re fairly certain this will carry heavy weight among players in the global hockey community (we were able to find a picture of him with a trophy, however. Pretend it's from us.). Quite simply, we wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospectâ€™s achievement on the ice.
This weekâ€™s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to â€¦ Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Each preseason, hockey fans are gripped by a story of an underdog roster candidate forcing his way onto an NHL club. Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Brett Connolly and college free agent Cory Conacher have dominated headlines early this fall at the Lightning's training camp in that respect. While Conacher was eventually moved to the AHL, Connolly's chances to stick with the Lightning continue to increase.
He's this year's preseason story.
Neil Hodge, Moncton Times & Transcript
It's really a remarkable story when you look at the big picture.
Daniel Milan cracked the Moncton Wildcats' roster on a free agent tryout and was named to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League All-Rookie Team last season. That earned him a free agent invitation to a National Hockey League training camp this season.
The 19-year-old defenceman impressed the Tampa Bay Lightning so much that last week they signed him to a three-year contract. He's back in Moncton now, but if he continues to develop as expected look for him to begin his professional career next season.