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Getting to know Brett Connolly

Brett Connolly is a rare talent in the Western Hockey League.

The Prince George Cougars forward, despite playing just 16 games last year after battling a hip injury, was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft (6th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Teams draft on potential, and this kid has plenty of it.

“I got in at the end of last year and I proved a lot at 16,” he said. “It was nice to be taken that high.”

As a rookie in 2008-09, the 6-2, 180-pound native of Prince George scored 30 goals with 30 assists in 65 games. He was the first 16-year-old in the WHL in 13 years to score 30 goals. He also played on Team Canada’s U-18 team at the WJC, scoring 3 goals with 3 assists as Canada placed fourth.

Last year, Connolly, 18, had 10 goals and 9 assists. This season, he has 14 goals and 8 assists in 15 games heading into Saturday’s game against the Tri-City Americans.

The surface information is easy to find. Here’s a deeper look at Brett Connolly.

What sport would you play if you didn’t play hockey?: Soccer, I played until I was 13.

Favorite TV show?: Two and a half Men

Favorite food?: Steak

Pregame ritual?: I have a gold top (ice bath).

Best place to play in WHL that is not PG?: Vancouver. The atmosphere is great.

First car?: 2005 Honda Civic

Favorite vacation spot?: Hawaii

Who would you most like to meet?: Wayne Gretzky

Favorite non-hockey athlete: Tiger Woods

If you weren’t play for PG, which WHL team would you most like to play for? Vancouver. They have won a lot.