Wayne Francis Connelly (born December 16, 1939) is a Canadian former ice hockey right winger who played in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and Vancouver Canucks and finished his career in the World Hockey Association (WHA). Connelly was born in Rouyn, Quebec, but grew up in Teck, Ontario.
Connelly played a total of 543 games in the NHL with 133 goals and 174 assists for a total of 307 points. In addition, he played 366 games in the WHA for the Minnesota Fighting Saints, Cleveland Crusaders, Calgary Cowboys, and Edmonton Oilers with 167 goals and 162 assists for 329 points.
Connelly won the Red Tilson Award in 1959–60 as the Ontario Hockey League's most outstanding player while with the Peterborough Petes. Connelly scored 235 points in 4 seasons with the Pete's (1956–1960).
On October 19, 1966, Bobby Orr recorded his first NHL point when he assisted on a powerplay goal by Connelly in Boston's 6–2 loss to The Detroit Red Wings.
In the NHL's first year of expansion, 1967–68, Connelly led the Minnesota North Stars with 35 goals and 21 assists and received the Hockey News West Player of the Year award.
On April 9, 1968, Connelly became the first player to score a goal on a penalty shot in the NHL playoffs when he beat Los Angeles's Terry Sawchuk in a 7–5 victory for his Minnesota North Stars.
Connelly and his wife Reg have two children, Ann and Stephen. He lives on Lake Kenogami located near Kirkland Lake in Northern Ontario.
By Dean Hanley
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