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Avalanche Final Grade 2012: Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

#18 / Winger / Colorado Avalanche



July 3, 1989

2011 Cap Hit: $900,000

2012 Status: Mike's two-way entry-level contract is good for another season, at which point he'll be an RFA.

Mike Connolly's numbers don't tell you much, but the most important number for the youngster is: 2. The undrafted rookie was fortunate enough to get a taste (a spoonful maybe) of the NHL as he suited up for 2 games with the Avalanche after coming over via the Jamie McGinn trade. That right there makes his season a success.

Connolly's a gritty player who can score despite his size. The kid put up good numbers in College with 136 points (55 goals, 81 assists) in 123 games, and topped off his quick 3 year collegiate campaign with a national championship. In 53 career AHL games he has 37 points - decent for a first year pro. So the foundation is there for continued growth and success. Time will tell. And speaking of time, Connolly ended up second to last in total ice time for the Avs with 24:41, ahead of only Evan Brophey. Hopefully with more games under his belt and more time to mature and acclimate to the pro game his ceiling will raise. Due to the stunted sample size, we'll call his grade an Incomplete.

Trivia: Who are the Avs other two undrafted players? (answer after the jump)

2012 Outlook: Ohio! Connolly will look to improve upon his first pro season as he embarks on his first full season with the Avalanche organIzation as he most likely begins the season in Lake Erie. In 2011-2012 Mike only played 13 games for the Monsters with time split between the Avs and his former club, the Worcester Sharks. The former University of Minnesota Duluth standout notched 7 points with the Monsters. He seemed to get more comfortable as his time in the pros and with his new team progressed and ended the season on a 3 game points streak.

More experienced and more promising players ahead of Connolly on the depth charts, compounded with his small size, will probably keep Mike in Lake Erie unless the injury demons return to Denver next season, or he continues to do as he has done his entire career and surprise people with his quality game. Let's hope for the latter.

2011 - Mike Connolly 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0

Q: Who are the Avs other two undrafted players?

A: Ryan Wilson and Cody McLeod