Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Tri-City's Trevor Connelly continues to impress in his first USHL season

From roller hockey in California to an 18-game point streak in the USHL, Tri-City's Connelly has blossomed into one of the USHL's youngest and biggest offensive threats

Trevor Connelly LIN TC.JPG
Trevor Connelly has 22 goals and 45 points through 54 games this season. “I think I’m a fast player and I can make plays all over the ice,” he says. “My hockey sense and my speed are probably the best parts of my game and I love making my teammates better."
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

KEARNEY, Neb. — Trevor Connelly grew up with a mini stick in his hands and got his start playing roller hockey in northern California.

It’s where he first discovered his passion for the game and developed the skills and speed that make Connelly one of the most promising young forwards in the USHL.

“His skating and his explosiveness is as good as I’ve seen at this level,” Tri-City head coach Anthony Noreen said. “The only other guy that comes to mind at that age is Kyle Connor, but Trevor’s skating is a difference-maker every single shift.

“He’s got a really good set of hands too and can fire the puck, and he’s a guy that wants the puck on his stick. Trevor’s got an attack mentality, he’s got the tenacity and he’s not afraid to battle. He always wants to make a play.”

After a slow start to his rookie season, Connelly has turned into one of Tri-City’s biggest offensive threats.


The Providence commit has 22 goals and 45 points in 54 games this season, which rank second and third on Tri-City’s roster. Connelly has racked up 30 points (16-14-30) over his last 20 games, which includes a franchise-record 18-game point streak in that stretch.

Connelly’s point streak is also the longest in the USHL this season and his confidence is growing by the game.

“It was definitely a tougher start and not the start I would’ve liked, but I think my mindset was just keep working and the points will come,” Connelly said. “Obviously it’s a much faster game and every single kid on every team is good and has skill, so it took me a little bit to figure out what works in my game and what I needed to change to become a better player.

“Confidence has honestly been the biggest thing for me this season and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’ve played how I have lately.”

Trevor Connelly Tri-City.JPG
Trevor Connelly was tendered by Tri-City last March. Connelly has played 54 games in his first season with the Storm. “We felt like it was the right fit and thankfully he felt it was the right fit for his development and his future,” head coach Anthony Noreen said of the tender.
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

The Tustin, California, native just turned 17 on Feb. 28, making him the second-youngest player on the Tri-City roster. Connelly didn’t start playing on ice until he was 8 either.

Make no mistake, every player faces a learning curve during their first USHL season, which Connelly experienced himself early on. However, he’s made quite the positive impression in year one.

“Every young kid in this league goes through a stage of trying to figure out what it takes to be successful and what’s going on,” Noreen said. “You have to build a little bit of confidence and a little bit of direction in this league and grow from it. And I just think the way he’s carried himself the entire year has been great.

“He’s very low maintenance, wants to get better, extremely driven, coachable, good teammate – and he shows up to work every day.”


The Storm tendered Connelly last March, making him the 10th tender in franchise history. Tri-City general manager Jason Koehler identified Connelly early on and Noreen said it felt like a “great fit” for both sides.

Connelly came to Kearney at the end of last season after playing for the Long Island Gulls U16 AAA. He also spent some time with the Storm last spring before returning to Tri-City in the fall.

Trevor Connelly Tri-City Storm.JPG
Trevor Connelly is second on Tri-City’s roster in goals and third in points. “We have a team that has so much talent and we just need every guy to put in the effort,” Connelly said. “I think we have a very special group here and a deep lineup. We made some really big trades at the deadline and added two huge forwards, we’ve figured out our goaltending, and I think we have the potential to do something special."
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

He’ll return to Kearney again next winter before making the jump to Providence.

“I talked to the (Providence) coaches a lot last year and after we were in Pittsburgh I took my visit out there and just had such a good connection with the entire staff,” Connelly said. “The facilities are great, I liked the campus and I just felt like it was the right place for me.

“I’m excited to get out there but I also know I still need to improve areas of my game and the USHL is a great league for that. You can get away with more in AAA hockey than you can here, especially defensively, so I really wanted to focus on being a complete 200-foot player here.”

As for what’s next, the Storm have four games left on the calendar before what Connelly hopes is a deep playoff run. The Storm are 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 and have been one of the league’s hottest teams over the last three months.

Tri-City (32-19-3-4) is currently fourth in the Western Conference with 71 points, three points behind Lincoln and four behind Waterloo. Tri-City is guaranteed to host the first round of the playoffs.

With Nick Oliver heading to Wisconsin, the Fargo Force are looking for their fifth head coach since the 2018-19 season. Here's a look at some potential names that could fill the vacancy
Fowler was named Dave Peterson Goaltender of the Year by USA Hockey while Knuble picked up the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award.
Sioux City promotes its director of scouting to GM just one day after Troy G. Ward left for Minnesota State
Capitols and Lumberjacks receive their future considerations, Klavs Veinbergs and Griffin Jurecki flip commitments, USHL All-Academic Team announced and much more
Nick Oliver led the Force to a franchise-record 40 wins and 88 points during the regular season and was named the USHL Coach of the Year. Now he's returning to the college level at Wisconsin
Andrew Strathmann has been one of the USHL's top offensive defensemen the last two seasons and played a key role as the Youngstown Phantoms captured their first Clark Cup
Wisconsin commit and 2023 NHL Draft prospect William Whitelaw was one of the USHL's top rookie forwards this season and helped the Youngstown Phantoms capture their first Clark Cup
Shane Lachance becomes the first captain in franchise history to hoist the Clark Cup and "couldn't have imagined a better way to go out" in Youngstown
Andon Cerbone delivers third-period goal and Jacob Fowler pitches a 22-save shutout as Youngstown wins the Clark Cup in a sweep against Fargo
The Phantoms will try to win their first Clark Cup on home ice Friday night while Fargo attempts what very few teams have done before and rally from a 2-0 deficit

Coincidentally, the Storm started to get hot around the time Connelly started to hit his stride. The hope is that production follows him into the playoffs and next season.


“You could tell pretty early on he was a special talent and I think you could see that from the time he got here,” Noreen said. “He’s one of those kids where it was a matter of when not if it was going to come together, and he was going to take off.

“I think early on it was a bit of a struggle for him, probably more so than he would’ve thought, but I don’t think it was anything not normal for a 16-year-old going through the rigors of our league. And once he started to figure things out, he’s been a true impact player. Since mid-January you can see his two-way game coming along and it seems like he’s scoring every game. It’s been fun to see.”

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
What to read next
Jacob Fowler was named the USHL Goaltender of the Year after a dominant regular season. Fowler has won seven of his first eight playoff starts and has been a huge part of the Phantoms' success
Knuble becomes the first player in Force history to win the award after leading the way both on and off the ice
Youngstown led the USHL with 23 home wins this season and the Phantoms are off to a 4-0 start at the Covelli Centre in the playoffs
The Fighting Hawks recruit is the second-leading defenseman scorer in the USHL playoffs. His Youngstown Phantoms can win the title this weekend.
Get Local