Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Brian Connelly

                   Position: Defenseman          Shoots: Left
                   Height: 5'10"                      Birthday: June 10, 1986
                   Weight: 185                       Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
80   11  41   52     +3     39       3       0      176     6.3

Brian Connelly had a very solid season on the blue line for the IceHogs this year. In his second full season pro, he was Rockford's lone All Star representative in Hershey for the AHL's All Star Game, he finished second in team scoring [11G-41A-52PTS], and was the only Hog to play in all 80 regular season games.
Like Shawn Lalonde, Connelly was also used as one of their power play quarterbacks; he was normally on the top power play unit. He was effective in that spot, considering his puck moving abilities.

One of Connelly's biggest goals of the season came on March 26th at home against the Milwaukee Admirals. He scored the game winning goal in overtime with a bullet of a shot from just inside the blue line.
Connelly was also called up on April 14th to be a part of the Blackhawks' Black Aces for the playoffs.

The former Colorado College Tiger's contract is up this summer. The Hawks could offer him another two way contract, but he's like Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Nick Leddy, and Chris Campoli in the way he plays. He's a puck moving defenseman and the Hawks have a lot of those already. Chances are that, if he re-signs, he'll be in Rockford for the whole year again, barring any injuries up with the big club. There's no doubt that Rockford would like to have him back on their blue line though.

Connelly during warmups on November 24th.

Monday, May 30, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Shawn Lalonde

                       Position: Defenseman          Shoots: Right
                       Height: 6'1"                       Birthday: March 10, 1990
                       Weight: 195                      Hometown: Orleans, Ontario

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
73    5   27   32     -16     76      0        0     142    3.5

In his first full pro season, Shawn Lalonde was solid for the IceHogs on the blue line. He was used a lot as a quarterback on the power play and he did a pretty good job. Some of the shots he took were either headhunters or went wide, but his aim will only get better with age and experience.

One of the best aspects of his game is his skating. He's an outstanding skater and it was evident even at the Blackhawks' Prospect and Training camps.

The Hawks' 68th overall pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is more of a finesse, puck moving defenseman, but he can throw the body around on occasion. He also wasn't afraid to drop the gloves, which he did a couple of times. He's not the best fighter, but that's because it's definitely not a huge part of his game.
The Hawks recalled the former Belleville Bull from the Hogs to be part of the Black Aces for the playoffs for the second straight year on April 14th.

Lalonde is still, at the very least, a year away from being a regular on the Hawks' blue line, even though he was one of the last few cuts on the 2010-11 Chicago roster. There's no need to rush him, considering the defensive core group of guys that the Hawks have, and developing some more in Rockford won't hurt in the least bit.

Lalonde lining up for a draw in a game against the Peoria Rivermen on November 9th.

Lalonde tossing the Hogs fans a tee-shirt after being named 3rd Star of the game on Nov. 9th.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Evan Brophey

                      Position: Center                  Shoots: Left
                      Height: 6'1"                        Birthday: December 3, 1986
                      Weight: 205                       Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
67   10   9    19      0      65       0       1      116    8.6

Centering the second line, Evan Brophey played in pretty much every situation for the IceHogs. He played on the power play, was part of a solid penalty killing tandem with Rob Klinkhammer, and logged solid minutes at even strength. The Blackhawks' 3rd round pick (68th overall) in the 2005 draft was an alternate captain and brought a lot of leadership to the team. Brophey isn't afraid to get his nose dirty and, throughout the course of the season, dished out a lot of solid checks.

His fourth season as a Hog was cut short because he got suspended for a hit to the head of Hamilton's Hunter Bishop on March 25th. The suspension was doled out on March 29th and the punishment was 7 games, which was the rest of the season.
Before the suspension was handed out, Brophey became the Hogs' all time games leader with 299 games played on March 27th against the Chicago Wolves.

Earlier in the year, he made his NHL debut with the Hawks on October 23rd against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He filled in for an injured Tomas Kopecky.
Brophey's contract is up this summer. It's quite plausible that he may be gone if another NHL team gives him an offer. If not, the Hogs would love to have him back for his fifth season with the team.

Brophey taking a draw against the Peoria Rivermen on November 27th.

Brophey taking a draw against the San Antonio Rampage during Pink in the Rink on January 22nd.