February 23, 1990 |
Edmonton, AB, CAN
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|Columbus Blue Jackets
|NHL Draft||83rd overall, 2009
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. After his NHL draft, he joined the major junior ranks with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2009–10. He 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 breakout 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 was born on February 23, 1990, in Edmonton, Alberta, to William Connauton and Glenna Demco. His father is a lawyer. He has an older brother, Sean, who plays hockey for Brown University. Connauton graduated from St. Francis Xavier High School in Edmonton in 2008 and was a business major at Western Michigan University, before joining the major junior ranks after one year in 2009.
|2007–08||Spruce Grove Saints||AJHL||56||13||32||45||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Western Michigan Broncos||CCHA||40||7||11||18||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|AJHL North All-Rookie Team||2008|
|CCHA All-Rookie Team honourable mention||2009|
|WHL West First All-Star Team||2010|
|AHL All-Star Game||2012|
- Vancouver Giants franchise record; most goals, single-season, by a defenceman - 24 in 2009–10 (surpassed Jonathon Blum, 18 in 2007–08)
- Vancouver Giants franchise record; most points, single-season, by a defenceman - 72 in 2009–10 (surpassed Brent Regner, 67 in 2008–09)
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- Mahiben, Dhiren (2009-09-07). "Kevin Connauton becoming a Vancouver Giant". Vancouver Canucks. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
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- Jim Connelly (2009-06-27). "Day 2 Turnaround: College Hockey Fares Well on Saturday at NHL Draft". USCHO News. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
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- Lyndon Little (2010-03-12). "Rockets burn Giants early but need a late blast to win". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-03-15.[dead link]
- "Top Scorers - 2009-10 Regular Season - Defencemen". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "Top Scorers - 2009-10 Regular Season - Rookies". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "WHL Announces 2009-10 Conference All-Star Teams and Award Finalists". Western Hockey League. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2010-03-29.[dead link]
- Vancouver Canucks (2010-04-28). "Canucks sign defenceman Kevin Connauton". Canucks.com. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "Game Summary". Manitoba Moose. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- "2012 All-Star rosters unveiled". American Hockey League. 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- Dallas Stars Staff (2013-04-02). "Dallas Stars Acquire Kevin Connauton and second-round pick in 2013 From Vancouver in Exchange for Derek Roy". DallasStars.com. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- The Canadian Press (2013-10-25). "Chiasson, Benn each score 2 goals to carry Stars to 5-1 victory over Flames". NHL.com. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- Mike Halford (2014-11-18). "With blueline ailing, Columbus claims Connauton off waivers.". NBC Sports ProHockeyTalk. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
- "Kevin Connauton". Western Michigan University. Retrieved 2010-01-21.