Looking at draft prospect Trevor Connelly

One potential draft pick for the Vegas Golden Knights has some controversy behind his name and his name's Trevor Connelly. Is he worth drafting?
All-American Game
All-American Game / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Sometimes, the most promising athletes can have the darkest secrets. Whether it's saying the wrong thing or their actions, it can ruin a young star's career. For Trevor Connelly, that's the case. The NHL Draft prospect has a swastika controversy swirling over his head, leaving teams to distance themselves from drafting the young star. That might include the Vegas Golden Knights, who have the 19th overall pick in this year's draft.

But it's not to say that the player isn't talented. Connelly is a great prospect to have. That's especialy true with his stellar play with th Tri-City Storm. However, life has a funny way of punishing people for their bad choices, including those who carry prejudice against a particular group. For the talented star, that's cost him position in the upcoming draft, leaving him to wonder where he'll fall, if possible.

Still, it's worth wondering if such gambles can pay off for inquiring teams. The character issues can be a major detriment for a team, bringing them terrible press and controversy. In turn, it can paint that group in an unpleasant light, making them undesirable. But for Bill Foley's group, it's a conflicting problem that could have some payoff... or completely derail the team.

Trevor Connelly's past

The swastika incident is the main incident surrounding Trevor Connelly. It involved the 16-year-old posting a picture of the controversial symbol on social media in March 2022. It was formed using building blocks and was quickly taken down, but not before people noticed the derogatory post on Snapchat.

While he has apologized for the incident and even went to the LA Holocaust Museum, he was removed from the Long Island Gulls shortly after. But there is another incident that has plagued the young forward. In 2021, he allegedly used a racial slur against an opponent in a game, causing him to be suspended.

One isolated incident can hurt a person's career enough to end it. But when it becomes a pattern for that athlete, that's when scouts and executives start to notice. For Connelly, he might've moved on from those past problems. However, teams like the Vegas Golden Knights aren't as likely to forget themselves.

What can Trevor Connelly bring?

While Trevor Connelly has had plenty of issues in his past, he does have plenty of talent to his game. The California native builds his game around speed, skill, and having full vision of the ice. He's a playmaker who can put up big numbers at will, making him a threat.

His 31 goals prove that along with his 47 assists in 52 games with the Tri-City Storm this season, making him one of the top players in the USHL. But that wasn't his most impressive body of work: Connelly scored 137 points (87 goals, 50 assists) with the San Diego Saints of the 14U AA league in 2019-20.

Whether the Vegas Golden Knights take the Tri-City Storm star in the NHL Draft remains to be seen. However, they could draft a controversial figure that can ruin the team's sterling reputation. The team's identity has always been around focusing on protecting their brand of hockey, which can easily unravel if one young prospect derails it.

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