Conner Bleackley
Image: WHL

Conner Bleackley

Hometown:

High River Alberta

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-02-07

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

1st round (23rd overall), 2014

Weight:

195 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2010-11: Conner Bleackley had nine points in five midget AAA games with the Keystone Raiders in Alberta — and was one of the top scorers for the Okotoks Oilers bantam AAA team. He scored 7 goals with 2 assists and had 4 penalty minutes with the Raiders. In 29 bantam games he scored 36 goals with 32 assists and had 62 penalty minutes. Playing with the South Senators in the 2011 Alberta Cup he scored 3 goals with 2 assists. Bleackley was selected by Red Deer in the first round (21st overall) of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

2011-12: Bleackley skated in 16 WHL games with Red Deer as a 15-year-old — spending most of the season with the UFA Bisons midget AAA team in the Alberta league — and won a gold medal with Team Alberta at the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. Bleackley scored 2 goals and was minus-5 with 6 penalty minutes skating for the Rebels. In 26 AMHL games with the Bisons he scored 13 goals with 17 assists and had 41 penalty minutes. Bleackley scored 2 goals with 2 assists in four games for Team Alberta.

2012-13: Bleackley played in the WHL with Red Deer and represented Canada Pacific in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 9 goals with 9 assists and was minus-4 with 28 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games for the Rebels. Red Deer finished third in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. In nine playoff games Bleackley scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was minus-1. An assistant captain for Canada Pacific, he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and had 12 penalty minutes in five games at the WHC.

2013-14: Bleackley was a team captain for the Red Deer Rebels in his second WHL season and played for Canada in the 2014 U18  World Juniors. He was the Rebels’ leading scorer with 29 goals and 39 assists and was plus-3 with 48 penalty minutes in 71 games. Red Deer missed the WHL playoffs; finishing fifth in the Central Division. An assistant captain for the Canada U18 team, he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes in seven games. Canada won a bronze medal at the tournament in FInland. Bleackley was ranked 35th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Colorado in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. 

Talent Analysis

Bleackley’s hard work earned him a “C” with Red Deer at the age of 17 and his work ethic and ability to help chip in points make him a key player for the Rebels. He is not a highly-skilled offensive player but does have finishing abilities. He appeared overwhelmed at his first training camp with the Avalanche but is young enough to learn from the experience.

Future

Bleackley attended his first training camp with the Avalanche before being returned to Red Deer for the 2014-15 season. He skated for Team WHL in the Subway Series against Russia and had an outside chance of playing for Canada when it hosts the 2015 World Juniors. Still early in his growth curve in terms of development, Bleackley will likely need time to reach the NHL level. Long-term he projects as an effective two-way forward with some size who can provide supplementary offense.

Four Colorado Avalanche Junior prospects honored with Subway Super Series selection

by Chau Vo
on

Photo: Kyle Wood (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Photo: Kyle Wood has the size and offensive skill to be a true two-way defenseman someday for the Avalanche (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

The annual Subway Super Series is an early season six-game exhibition between a select team of junior aged Russian players against three all-star teams formed from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL. This year, the Colorado Avalanche were represented by four of their prospects including Chris Bigras, a favorite to represent Team Canada in the upcoming U20 World Junior Championship, as well as Conner Bleackley, Kyle Wood, and Spencer Martin.

Read more»

Overall depth of Colorado Avalanche prospect pool still weak

by Chau Vo
on

Colorado Avalanche v Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo: Sami Aitokallio will battle with Calvin Pickard for playing time with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

While much can be said about the Colorado Avalanche being led by their young stars at the NHL level, there is not much the team can depend on for depth if immediate help is required. Graduations of high draft picks from recent years have led to a bare farm system that will take years to refresh.

Read more»

Chris Bigras leads group of new prospects in Colorado Avalanche Fall 2014 Top 20

by Chau Vo
on

Chris Bigras was voted

Chris Bigras was voted “best defensive defenseman” by the OHL’s Western Conference coaches in 2013-14 (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

Two key Colorado Avalanche players did not stay prospects for long as both surpassed the 65-NHL-game mark in 2013-14. 18-year-old forward Nathan MacKinnon entered the league under the bright spotlights of being the 2013 NHL Draft’s first overall pick and did not disappoint. He ended the season as the Calder Trophy favorite and was unanimously voted as the trophy winner. Tyson Barrie also had a statement season when he cemented himself as a key figure on the Avalanche blue line, contributing offense in even-strength situations as well as on the power play.

Read more»

2014 NHL Draft: WHL draft review

by Glen Erickson
on

2014 NHL Draft - Sam Reinhart - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Kootenay Ice forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart was the Sabres highest selection since Pierre Turgeon was chosen first overall by the club back in 1987 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

Heading into the 2014 NHL Draft, both the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) knew their top eligible prospects would be jockeying for the coveted first pick overall. When the Florida Panthers did not receive a satisfactory offer after openly shopping the number one pick, they chose to select defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts. Read more»

2014 NHL Draft: Colorado Avalanche draft review

by Chau Vo
on

Conner Bleackley - Colorado Avalanche

Photo: Red Deer Rebels captain Conner Bleackley, picked 23rd overall, was the top pick by the Avalanche in the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

 

After the Avalanche’s 2014 postseason run came to an end, head coach Patrick Roy and executive VP of hockey operations Joe Sakic got right to work molding their team’s prospect pool to their likings. Read more»

Related Articles