NHL Trade Deadline 2015: Top 5 Players the Penguins Should Target

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5. Brett Connolly

Nov 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing

Brett Connolly

(14) skates with the puck as New York Rangers defenseman

Dan Boyle

(22) defends during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One intriguing option for the Pens is young Tampa Bay Lightning winger Brett Connolly.

Picked 6th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Connolly hasn’t quite meshed with the Lightning thus far, but has the potential to develop into an elite talent once he figures out his game at the NHL level.

His untapped skill is clear – evidenced by the 46 goals and 73 points he put up in only 59 games in his last year of juniors.

Connolly’s size (6’2″, 181 lbs) and eagerness to prove he belongs in the big leagues could make him a great addition to Pittsburgh’s bottom-six – and practicing with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin every day could do wonders in terms of bringing out his offensive game.

His friendly cap hit of $850,500 would be a welcome addition as well.

The Lightning have reportedly been considering moving Connolly – who’s posted only 10 goals and 3 assists through 42 games this season – as he simply hasn’t been a good fit in the Bolts’ system.

With defensemen Matt Carle and Radko Gudas both sidelined with injury, and the Lightning preparing for a deep postseason run, there is a good chance the team could deal for some help on the blue line.

Tampa is certainly not so starved for offense that they would miss Connolly. Their top two lines have been on fire this season – featuring stars Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, and Ryan Callahan – and they have the promising Jonathan Drouin coming up as well.

If they are willing to move the young winger, Pittsburgh seems like a likely destination, as the Pens have a fair amount to offer when it comes to defensive help.

While Connolly was a high draft pick and still has loads of potential, it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to get him as he’s posted only 30 points in 126 NHL games thus far.

If the Pens were willing to gamble on him, they’d have young defensive prospects like Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin to choose from as a return, as well as more established defenders like Robert Bortuzzo, Rob Scuderi, and Paul Martin.