Brendan Connolly Returns to Greenville
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Brendan Connolly, who ranks second all-time in scoring in Greenville hockey history, is coming back to the Upstate. The 35-year-old centerman has agreed to a Standard Player Contract with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Connolly played three seasons for the Greenville Road Warriors (2010-13), and led the team to three Kelly Cup Playoff runs. Across 150 games as a Road Warrior, he scored 166 points, good for a 1.11 point-per-game pace.
"Greenville was a good fit for me. I always loved playing in Greenville, loved the organization and loved the fans. I knew if I got another opportunity here, I'd take it," Connolly said, noting that he has made his home in the Upstate since playing in Greenville. "Knowing Andrew Lord's track record, how he was able to put together and build an organization like Cardiff into a powerhouse in the Elite League, you just see his dedication and his work ethic on display. It's contagious and it's something you want to be a part of."
On top of being one of the top scorers in franchise history, Connolly ranks third in goals (70), third in assists (96), fourth in penalty minutes (332) and ninth in games played (150).
The Canmore, Alberta native has played 603 games as a professional across eleven full seasons out of Ferris State University. He brings significant championship pedigree between a Kelly Cup championship with the Alaska Aces in 2014, a Danish Cup championship in 2017, and two Challenge Cup championships (2018, 2020).
Connolly is also a proven playoff performer. In 57 pro playoff games, he has scored 17 goals and 27 assists. 18 of those playoff games were as a member of the Road Warriors.
Connolly returns to North America after playing pro hockey in Europe over the past five seasons. The past three seasons have been in the EIHL, with the Belfast Giants, Glasgow Clan and the Sheffield Steelers, which gave head coach Andrew Lord plenty of firsthand evidence to bring him on board.
"I've played and coached against Brendan for years, and he is a player that drives you insane to play or coach against. His compete level is extremely high and he plays right on the line game in and game out," said Lord. "This is a great veteran forward signing for our hockey organization. Brendan brings a wealth of experience a very well-rounded game, and a lot of offensive ability."
"Brendan will push everyone around him to bring their very best on a nightly basis. In addition to his compete level, he has a great overall skill set and has produced everywhere he has played. Brendan is extremely happy to be back in Greenville, where he previously had three great seasons."
Connolly's consistent point production, 618 points in 603 games, has given him plenty of personal accolades. He was named to the ECHL All-Star Game and the ECHL Performer of the Year in 2011, was named ECHL Player of the Month twice, and named an EIHL Second Team All Star in 2020. Connolly posted a 1.107 points-per-game pace as a member of the Road Warriors, and a 1.024 points-per-game pace in his entire pro career.
Never afraid to get in the mix, Connolly has 1,280 career penalty minutes, including a career high mark of 186 during the 2016-17 season.
Connolly spent four seasons in Big Rapids, and put up 81 points in 147 games at the collegiate level at Ferris State. That was preceded by a junior career all spent in the province of Alberta, with 145 points in 180 games, and 562 penalty minutes, at the AJHL level.
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