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Post-draft Q&A with Brett Connolly

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Brett Connolly, drafted sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, poses on stage with team general manager Steve Yzerman during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

An interview with Brett Connolly, the 6th overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Q. Can you be specific about what your injuries were? We've seen different things in different places. What exactly was it?

BRETT CONNOLLY: Well, it was in my hip area, I don't know the specific injury, but it's all behind me, and I can't wait to be going into training camp. I'm just ecstatic to be picked by Tampa Bay.

Q. How much concern was there for you that people might look at it and see that there was too much of a risk?
BRETT CONNOLLY: It's definitely a risk. You always have it in the back of your mind. But like I said, Tampa Bay didn't think it would be an issue, and I can't believe they picked me and I'm going to go with them.

Q. Describe what you bring to this franchise?
BRETT CONNOLLY: A big skilled forward that plays hard and competes. I mean, my defensive game is my upside, and I'm definitely a defensive player.

Q. Very talented squad, you should step right in?
BRETT CONNOLLY: That's the goal. I want to go to camp and rest, and hopefully stick there. I get better at a lot of things, and hopefully go into camp and impress them.

Q. As thrilled as you are, are you happy that it's over?
BRETT CONNOLLY: Oh, yeah. It was pretty hectic month, but it's all worth it now. Really happy that Tampa Bay selected me.

Q. How do you avoid frustration of everything that's going on the last few days?
BRETT CONNOLLY: You've got to know what's coming. With as much of the season I missed there are going to be some questions there. But like I said, it's over and it's behind me. I kind of new I was going to slip, but at the end of the first round, the team's first round draft pick and having been selected by Tampa Bay?

Q. You said you knew there were going to be questions asked of you. How about you, do you have any questions?
BRETT CONNOLLY: No, I'm looking after myself better. My routine is better than it will ever be. So I'm really going to look after myself and make sure this doesn't happen again. There is definitely no doubt for me I'm going to get injured again (laughing).

Q. Looking back on it, you talk about how you're not going to let it happen again. Are there things that you were or weren't doing that might have contributed to that situation?
BRETT CONNOLLY: Yeah, I think I could have stretched a lot more. I mean, having that happen to me this year, I've really got to look after myself and make sure I'm stretching a lot and doing some things to make sure that I'm flexible and in good shape.

Q. What does this mean to the Price George (WHL) organization?
BRETT CONNOLLY: Yeah, it's big for the organization. I mean we've got a lot of young kids coming up in that organization that want to get here. It's hard work, it's definitely a goal that can be accomplished. We've got a lot of good young players that can be here one day, and I hope they work hard and try to get in my shoes one day.

Q. How about the city and all the people there? It's obviously an outpost for players that have big dreams.
BRETT CONNOLLY: Yeah, and me playing in my hometown, this is huge. I mean, I owe it to a lot of people. There were a lot of people that helped me down the road. I'm excited for Prince George, and I'm excited for me, too.

Q. What's it take for you to be the possibility of being a lineman with Steven Stamkos?
BRETT CONNOLLY: Well, I mean, he's a great player and had a great year. I mean, that's the goal. I hope I can get there. I'm going to work my hardest.
Hopefully one day I can be with him and be a part of something special.

Q. Is there any part of you that's disappointed?
BRETT CONNOLLY: No, not at all. I mean, like I said, I'm a team first round pick, and looking forward to getting to Tampa and getting started and hopefully making their team.

Q. What about the idea of playing for Tampa Bay?
BRETT CONNOLLY: It's definitely something I could get used to for sure. From what I've been hearing, it's a great place to live, and things are definitely on the uprise. So I can't wait to get over there and showcase.

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