Conner Bleackley | C Red Deer | WHL
Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 Shoots: Right
Born: February 7, 1996
2011-2012 GP: 16 G: 2 A: 0 P: 2 +/-: -15 PIM: 6
2012-2013 GP: 66 G: 9 A: 9 P: 18 +/-: -4 PIM: 28
|After being cut from Canada's U-18 team, Bleackley had a lot|
to prove and is doing so this season
(Photo Credit: Future Considerations)
Bleackley has gotten off to a great start this season. By Halloween, he had already bested his scoring outputs from the prior season. As he continued his strong early season performance, through 32 game, he tallied 14 goals and 21 assists. That’s quite the turnaround after only 18 points in 66 games in his first full season in the WHL. However, Bleackley did have a strong motivating force behind him. Last season, the Alberta native was cut by Canada’s U-18 team, and has been out to prove that they were wrong about him.
That jump in production didn’t come out of nowhere though. Bleackley spent a lot of time working on his conditioning both on and off the ice this past offseason. And it has certainly paid off. Although he still needs to work on his release time, he does posses a heavy shot to go along with his solid passing.
A power forward type player, Bleackley isn’t one to run the opposition over, but he will give and take hits to make a play. More than willing to go to the dirty areas, this gritty center can keep or create offensive opportunities for his team.
But what Bleackley really wants is to be a guy that other players hate to play against. Whether he is grinding down low to create some offense or getting back to disrupt a play in his own zone, he wants opposition to rue the times he is on the ice. And after being named captain for this season, he can take more than a lead by example approach.
He still needs to work on his skating, more specifically, starting and stopping. And while he has lacks some quickness, he does move powerfully on his skates.
With that added incentive of proving Hockey Canada wrong, Bleackley will look to continue his hot start this season and parlay it into hearing his name early on day one of the draft.