- United Kingdom
- Current Team
The Raider’s management were first alerted to this returnee at Easter with coach Easton’s simple message “JC is back”. By that time we were already aware that the good eggs in the NIHL were likely to merge with the resurrected EPL so this confirmation was quite welcome.
We are of course referring to the return of highly experienced 26 year old D-man John Connolly for his third season in the Gold and Blue. John brings experience in both the Elite and EPL Leagues which is clearly going to prove valuable for the challenges ahead. Since joining the Raiders, John has made 53 appearances, scoring 4 goals and 19 assists for 23 points, despite missing a large part of last season with a leg injury.
John’s junior career included two seasons in Western States Hockey league with Texas and New Mexico Renegades, and he was selected for the Great Britain U/18 squad for two seasons for World Championships winning Gold and Silver Medals, and picking up a Best Defenceman award. He progressed to be selected twice for Great Britain Under 20 World Championship squad picking up Silver and Bronze medals.
John started his senior career home in Scotland making 54 appearances for Braehead and Edinburgh before moving on to the EPL where he has iced for Slough Jets, Manchester Phoenix and Milton Keynes Lightning, making a total of 61 league, cup and play-off appearances.
He gained further foreign experience with a brief spell in 2011/12 making 8 appearances for MHS Kazakhmys in Russia MHL League, before returning to play for Solway in NIHL North, for whom he picked up a league winner’s trophy having made 35 league / cup appearances, scoring 12 goals and 34 assists for 46 points.
John then moved to Chelmsford where he made 98 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and 64 assists for 74 points, picking up league and play off winner’s medals.
“I’m glad to be coming back to the Raiders for another season”.
On the subject that many forums will insist on discussing John added:-
“Sean and I have sat down and had a talk about what had happened in the past when I was at Chelmsford and it’s all been resolved and we can move forward now. I’m looking forward to the season ahead, which will be an interesting one for sure with a new look Raiders team and new look league.”
Coach Easton was keen to confirm the value he has always placed upon the Scot stating,
“JC brings with him a lot of experience from International, EPL and NIHL hockey which is exactly what we need with our tough challenge this season. Calm head, smooth skating and able to be an offensive threat from the back. JC will also be supporting the letter A on his shirt to voice his experience with our young hungry squad. He was my first signing after a good sit down chat, and he is looking forward to getting going. Already back on the ice shaking off the summer rust, JC and the rest of your Raiders will be ready to go from the first puck drop.”
National Ice Hockey League
NIHL National Cup Group C