Brett Connolly Rookie of the Year Award: Ethan Samson

The 2019-2020 Brett Connolly Rookie of the Year Award goes to defenceman Ethan Samson

“Ethan is a young, skilled defenceman with great offensive vision and is an elite skater. He really made great strides throughout the year defensively with his determined work ethic and dedication to getting stronger. The growth in his game this season will make him an important piece of our blue line going forward,” commented Associate Coach Jason Smith.

In his rookie season, Samson had two goals and five assists for seven points in 61 regular season games. Despite being just 16, Samson logged a lot of hard minutes on the Cougars’ blue line, including playing on the team’s power-play and penalty-kill. Samson was drafted in the third-round, 65th overall, in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.

The Rookie of the Year Award is named after alum Brett Connolly. Connolly played for the Cougars from 2008 to 2011, appearing in 144 career regular season games, where he compiled 86 goals and 66 assists for 152 points. He was the WHL and CHL  Rookie of the Year in 2008-09, and won silver and bronze medals at two World Junior Hockey Championships with Team Canada. Connolly was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first-round, 6th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft. The Prince George product has played in nearly 500 games in the NHL with Tampa Bay, Boston, Washington and Florida. Connolly won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals.

Wednesday, we will announce the Chris Mason Award for most Three Star selections, and the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation Humanitarian Award.

Throughout this week we will be announcing our 2019-2020 award winners. Winners will be announced at and on our social media channels.


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