Connolly is the youngest of the five potential replacements for Grabner at 25 years old. That’s an alluring quality for any team in and of itself.
He started his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning when he was only 19, and from there, he became part of a rather successful Captials’ organization. For a young player, he’s had enough experience that if he were to join this Rangers’ team that’s looking to win the Stanley Cup Championship right now, he could do great things.
Also, he’s been sufficiently fast that if Grabner were to go, the Rangers wouldn’t have to miss that speed entirely. Also, they’d be looking at their organization long-term with a player like this. Last season, he recorded 15 goals and 8 assists for 13 points in 66 games played.
If he came to the Rangers, those numbers would most likely increase. He’s at a peak right now, and the team would be wise to take advantage of it if Grabner would no longer be with them.