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Connauton's worth the wait for Canucks - Jim Jamieson

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01-26-2012, 11:46 AM
  #1
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Connauton's worth the wait for Canucks - Jim Jamieson

Jim Jamieson writes that Kevin Connauton is rounding into shape as an all-round D-man and with Chris Tanev is also waiting in the wings, this sets the Canucks D up for the next number of years.

When Connauton came out of junior he was an offensive machine but his strength and defensive play needed work. He is now 6'2" and 200 pounds and has added muscle and strength and is showing a bit of a mean streak. He leads the AHL in goals by a Dman.

His defensive game is much better and Craig MacTavish has been a fan since the first time he worked with Connuaton in Prospect Camp. According to MacTavish, Connauton's - 8 is deceptive.
"It's just a circumstantial thing [the minus-8] for him," said Mac-Tavish. "You see the way we play him in all defensive situations. We wouldn't be doing that if we had any concerns for his defensive play. He's played really well."
...
Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning said the Canucks like the package that the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Connauton brings: The skill and the mean streak to complement it.

"He plays with an edge," said Henning. "He doesn't like losing and he's not afraid to lay on the lumber. He was always a gifted offensive player, but now he's turning into a complete defenceman."
http://www.theprovince.com/sports/ho...097/story.html

All in all at the D position the future looks bright for the Canucks.

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01-26-2012, 11:48 AM
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I bet he blasts by Tanev in development if he can keep progressing in strength/conditioning and defensive awareness.

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01-26-2012, 11:49 AM
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Connauton had a Twitter Q&A last night while on the bus to Abbotsford. He did not answer my question, heartbroken forever.

It's nice to see our prospect starting to round out. Great to see that Tanev will likely be in the big club next year and like Connauton to follow shortly.

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01-26-2012, 11:54 AM
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Where's all the Polasek>Connauton people? If I recall I had tons of arguments with pretty much every fan over how stupid Connauton being, like what was it 8th? on the Canucks prospect list. It takes time for defensemen to develop. Especially offensive ones who aren't the greatest in their own end. Connauton is going to be a stud when he matures.

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01-26-2012, 12:00 PM
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In before someone wishes he was a right handed shot.

(Thanks for the link WC)

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01-26-2012, 12:15 PM
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If only he were a right hand shot.

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01-26-2012, 12:17 PM
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Hopefully we can get this Connauton/Tanev pairing going in the NHL soon because that would help us preserve some cap space on the back-end. If Connauton can replace Ballard we're already way ahead.

Assuming Salo retires, Connauton sounds like the heir apparent for the big PP point shot.

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01-26-2012, 12:19 PM
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I've liked his raw talent since his days with the Giants. Defencemen usually take time to develop. Having two good sized defencemen like Tanev and Connauton in the wings is a great thing. Maybe next year he gets a sniff for some games with the big club. In the meantime, learning the defensive aspects of the game with a good coach like MacTavish is also a positive.

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01-26-2012, 12:23 PM
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If only he were a right hand shot.
Another win for PRNuck

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01-26-2012, 12:24 PM
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I'd gladly eat crow if/when Connauton makes it.

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01-26-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuck This View Post
Where's all the Polasek>Connauton people? If I recall I had tons of arguments with pretty much every fan over how stupid Connauton being, like what was it 8th? on the Canucks prospect list. It takes time for defensemen to develop. Especially offensive ones who aren't the greatest in their own end. Connauton is going to be a stud when he matures.
I'm not going to apologize for them, because I'd rather sit back and watch our prospects develop than freak out and call them allstars or busts like many around here.


I will say however, that for a long time Connauton showed very little development in the defensive side of the game. I think you're underestimating how fortunate we are that his progression has been as steady as it is. The minors are filled with players that "would be NHLer's if they could just ________________."

This was Connauton until this season. There was no guarantee that he would ever reach his potential- that's why he was a later round pick. And really, you're doing the same thing you just went after other people for- you have no idea who between Polasek and Connauton will be better. One has had a better opportunity to acclimate to the pro game and you're saying others were fools to ever think they were comparable. Things weren't always so clear, nor will they be in the future.

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01-26-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuck This View Post
Where's all the Polasek>Connauton people? If I recall I had tons of arguments with pretty much every fan over how stupid Connauton being, like what was it 8th? on the Canucks prospect list. It takes time for defensemen to develop. Especially offensive ones who aren't the greatest in their own end. Connauton is going to be a stud when he matures.
If I remember correctly, most people thought Sauve would be ahead of both of them, so that shows you how much people know. You can't really take those polls seriously..

Also, Polasek has not had the same opportunity that Connauton has this season. Unfortunately for Polasek, he hasn't been given much time at all considering all of the defenseman looking for time in Chicago.

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01-26-2012, 12:38 PM
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If I remember correctly, most people thought Sauve would be ahead of both of them, so that shows you how much people know. You can't really take those polls seriously..

Also, Polasek has not had the same opportunity that Connauton has this season. Unfortunately for Polasek, he hasn't been given much time at all considering all of the defenseman looking for time in Chicago.
IMO all of Polasek, Connauton, Sauve will need the full 3 years to mature their game (if not more) before getting or even deserving a legit shot in the big league.

Add in McNally, Price and Corrado and it looks like the Canucks have plenty of guys who have decent potential, just have to be patient and let them develop.

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01-26-2012, 01:18 PM
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He is going to be PP beast for us for a long long time minus the physical play of course

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01-26-2012, 01:28 PM
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hopefully next year we see him or Tanev as a regular on the Defense.

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01-26-2012, 02:37 PM
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I wish I could see Sauve sometime soon.

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01-26-2012, 03:00 PM
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hopefully next year we see him or Tanev as a regular on the Defense.
Hopefully not.


K-Con has an Erhoff knack for offense which really helps.

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01-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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never hurts to have some offensive defensemen waiting in the wings.

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01-26-2012, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuck This View Post
Where's all the Polasek>Connauton people? If I recall I had tons of arguments with pretty much every fan over how stupid Connauton being, like what was it 8th? on the Canucks prospect list. It takes time for defensemen to develop. Especially offensive ones who aren't the greatest in their own end. Connauton is going to be a stud when he matures.
Not really sure where you're getting that from, I was arguing that Polasek had a better junior career than Sauve, I don't remember any comparisons with Connauton

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01-26-2012, 04:05 PM
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Am I the only one who thinks Connauton won't amount to much more than a homeless man's Marc Andre Bergeron?

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01-26-2012, 04:08 PM
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I'd gladly eat crow if/when Connauton makes it.

Ditto...

I have just never seen him look even close to competent defensively. That said I haven't seen a Wolves game this year so who knows.

Would love to be wrong on him, a 3rd pairing guy with some bite to his game that can help the power play, would be great.

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01-26-2012, 04:16 PM
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Am I the only one who thinks Connauton won't amount to much more than a homeless man's Marc Andre Bergeron?
This. With the short leash that AV has on Ballard because of his defensive deficiencies, Connauton might be in for a world of hurt.

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01-26-2012, 04:24 PM
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It's exciting that he appears to have turned a bit of a corner in his development, but i still have trouble seeing him as a top-4 d-man in the NHL any time in the forseable future. And i struggle to see him in the NHL at all under AV's reign in the near future.

That said, if he can eventually perform as a decent 5v5 bottom-pairing guy and fill in for Salo's role as the designated PP Cannon...that would make me pretty happy. Basically, a bigger, more versatile MAB type would be a useful asset here.

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01-26-2012, 04:38 PM
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This. With the short leash that AV has on Ballard because of his defensive deficiencies, Connauton might be in for a world of hurt.
I don't agree with that assumption. AV gave Erhoff a long leash. The reason Ballard is reigned in is because he'd rather skate than pass, and has a lousy shot. I don't think Connauton shares those deficiencies

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01-26-2012, 05:11 PM
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So how much of this can be attributed to MacT? I seem to remember him having a pretty solid track record of developing defensemen in Edmonton (wasn't prime-time Gilbert his doing?). After starting slowly, he seems to be having an effect on our young players. In fact, is Tom Gilbert a good Connauton comparable?

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