Connauton with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2014
|Born||February 23, 1990|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
| NHL team|
| Florida Panthers |
Columbus Blue Jackets
|NHL Draft|| 83rd overall, 2009 |
Kevin Connauton (born February 23, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted 83rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Connauton has also played for the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche.
Connauton played Junior A with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) before joining the Western Michigan Broncos of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in 2008–09. He joined the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the 2009–10 season. Connauton set franchise records for most goals and points by a defenceman, while being named a WHL West First Team All-Star.
Connauton began his junior career in the AJHL with the Spruce Grove Saints in 2007–08. He recorded 13 goals and 45 points over 56 games – first among rookie defencemen and third among defencemen overall – to earn a rookie of the year nomination and a unanimous selection to the AJHL North All-Rookie Team.He garnered interest from the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, who put him on their protected list in October 2008, but opted to play college hockey instead in the NCAA. He signed with the Western Michigan Broncos of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in April 2008 and initially intended to join them for the 2009–10 season, due to an already full defensive corps. However, after Jesse Perrin departed for the Central Hockey League (CHL) in August 2008, Connauton was invited to join the Broncos for the 2008–09 season. He went on to record a 7-goal, 18-point campaign as a freshman to earn an honourable mention to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.
Going into the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Connauton was ranked 202nd among North American draft-eligible prospects.He was subsequently selected in the third round, 83rd overall, by the Vancouver Canucks. He was one of three CCHA players taken in the draft and the highest overall. He was originally eligible for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, but was not chosen. Canucks director of collegiate scouting Stan Smyl highlighted Connauton's break-out pass as one of his strengths, while associate head scout Thomas Gradin noted his skating abilities.
Following his NHL draft, Canucks management encouraged Connauton to join the major junior ranks in hopes of bettering his progress.He accordingly signed with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL on July 29, 2009. Prior to joining the Giants, he attended his first NHL training camp with the Canucks, but was an early cut, being assigned to junior on September 16, 2009. Connauton established himself as a high-scoring defenceman in the WHL. He broke Jonathon Blum's record for goals by a Giants defenceman on January 3, 2010, with his 19th goal of the season. He was later named WHL Player of the Week with a four-goal, 10-point effort in five games from December 27, 2009, to January 3, 2010. In the last month of the regular season, he then broke Brent Regner's mark for most points by a Giants defenceman of 67, set the previous season, with two points against the Kelowna Rockets on March 11. Connauton finished his first WHL season atop the league's scoring list among defencemen (he finished with five more goals than Tyson Barrie, who tied him in point-scoring) and rookies with 72 points in 69 games. He was named to the WHL West First All-Star Team, along with Giants teammate Craig Cunningham. In the playoffs, the Giants advanced to the semifinals, but were eliminated in six games by the Tri-City Americans. Connauton recorded three goals and 13 points over 16 post-season games.
On April 28, 2010, Connauton signed three-year, entry-level contract with the Canucks.He was assigned to the Canucks' minor league affiliate, the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), out of training camp in September. During his AHL debut on October 8, he scored his first goal, a game-winner against goaltender Ben Bishop in a 4–3 win over the Peoria Rivermen. Connauton finished the season with 23 points (11 goals and 12 assists) over 73 games. He added one assist in six playoff games, as the Moose were eliminated by the Lake Erie Monsters in the first round. The following season, Connauton was assigned to a new AHL team, the Chicago Wolves, who had become the Canucks' new minor league affiliate. At mid-season, he was selected to participate in the 2012 AHL All-Star Game. He was one of two Wolves representatives, joining forward Darren Haydar. During the All-Star skills competition, he won the hardest shot competition, recording a slapshot at 99.4 miles per hour.
On April 2, 2013, the Canucks traded Connauton and a second round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to the Dallas Stars for Derek Roy. At the time of the trade Connauton was leading the Wolves in goals by a defenceman, 7, and was second for points by a defenceman, with 25.
Connauton started the 2013–14 season with the Dallas Stars, and made his NHL debut October 24, 2013, against the Calgary Flames.
On November 18, 2014, Connauton was picked up off waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets.On January 13, 2016, Connauton was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Coyotes.
On June 27, 2018, Connauton signed a two-year contract with the Coyotes.In the 2018-19 season, Connauton appeared in 50 games with the Coyotes, contributing with 1 goal and 8 points in a bottom six role from the blueline.
On June 25, 2019, Connauton was traded by the Coyotes, along with a third-round 2020 draft pick, to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Carl Söderberg.Connauton was waived and re-assigned to begin the 2019–20 season with Avalanche AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles. Leading the blueline with the Eagles, Connauton posted 5 goals and 27 points through 38 games while making 4 regular season appearances in a recall to the Avalanche. With the COVID-19 pandemic ending the AHL season, Connauton was added to the Avalanche's return to play roster, and made 4 playoff appearances in registering 1 assist.
As a free agent leading into the pandemic-delayed 2020–21 season, Connauton agreed to join the Florida Panthers training camp on a professional tryout basis on December 27, 2020. Remaining with the team upon completion of camp, Connauton was signed by the Panthers to a one-year, two-way contract on January 14, 2021, and was added to the club's taxi squad.
Connauton was born on February 23, 1990, in Edmonton, Alberta, to William Connauton and Glenna Demco.His father is a lawyer. His wife is named Brooke.
|2005–06||CAC Canadians AAA||AMHL||36||10||11||21||60||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||CAC Canadians AAA||AMHL||33||11||13||24||79||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Fort Saskatchewan Traders||AJHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Spruce Grove Saints||AJHL||56||13||32||45||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Western Michigan Broncos||CCHA||40||7||11||18||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||54||9||10||19||29||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||27||1||7||8||21||—||—||—||—||—|
|North All-Rookie Team||2008|
|CCHA All-Rookie Team honourable mention||2009|
|West First All-Star Team||2010|
|CHL All-Rookie Team||2010|
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