|Born||February 7, 1996 |
High River, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|WHL team||Red Deer Rebels|
|NHL Draft||23rd overall, 2014|
Connor Bleackley (born on February 7, 1996) is a Canadian ice hockey player. He is currently playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Red Deer Rebels while his National Hockey League (NHL) rights are owned by the Arizona Coyotes.
Conner was selected by the Red Deer Rebels in the 1st round (21st overall) of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft from AAA Bantom club the Okotoks Oilers.
After playing a further half season of midget hockey with the UFA Bisons of Strathmore in the Alberta Midget Hockey League he made his WHL debut in the 2011–12 season. In only his second full season with the Red Deer Rebels, he was named team captain as a 17-year-old for the 2013–14 season.
Conner whilst showing positional versatility broke out offensively with the Rebels, producing a career high 29 goals and 68 points in 71 games. His outstanding play was further rewarded when he was chosen to skate in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Conner's draft stock rose and he finished the season rated as a top prospect who was viewed as a possible first round selection heading into the 2014 NHL Entry Draft before he was selected by the Colorado Avalanche.
In his first NHL training camp with, the Avalanche were critical of Conner's conditioning and promptly returned him the junior without an entry-level contract.
In the 2014–15 season, Conner continued his scoring pace from previous seasons with 27 goals and 49 points in 51 games. On February 6, 2015, he suffered a strained groin, effectively ruling him out until the post-season in which Red Deer suffered a first-round exit.
During the off-season in the lead up to the 2015–16 season, Conner returned to the Avalanche rookie and training camp with ambition to earn an entry-level contract. With an improved physical performance, he was later returned for his final season of junior after competing in a pre-season game with the Avalanche.
Prior to the commencement of the WHL season, he was relinquished of the captaincy by the Rebels, with coach Brent Sutter explaining the intent to focus on reaching his potential.
With a guaranteed berth at the 2016 Memorial Cup, Conner struggled in the early stages of the year offensively. He picked up his offensive production and scored 41 points in 47 games before suffering a broken kneecap against the Everett Silvertips on January 23, 2016.
With the Avalanche intending not to offer Conner a contract at the trade deadline on February 29, 2016, his rights were included in a trade alongside Alex Tanguay and fellow prospect Kyle Wood to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Mikkel Boedker.
Regular season and playoffs
|2011–12||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||16||2||0||2||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||66||9||9||18||28||9||2||1||3||0|
|2013–14||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||71||29||39||68||48||1||0||1||1||0|
|2014–15||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||51||27||22||49||49||5||1||1||2||4|
As a 17-year-old, Conner was chosen to compete with the team representing Canada Pacific at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge and as an 18-year-old, he helped Team Canada capture the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championships.
|CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Team Cherry)||2014|
|World U-17 Hockey Challenge (Canada Pacific)||2013|
|IIHF World U18 Championship Bronze Medal||2014|