I’ve learned that there is indeed a possibility that Kevin Connauton, Vancouver’s 3rd round selection in yesterday’s NHL Entry Draft, may be joining the Vancouver Giants of the WHL next season. The Giants own Connauton’s rights, but he played with the Western Michigan Broncos last season. I just spoke to Vancouver Giants Director of Player Personnel Jason Ripplinger, and he informed me that the Giants had discussions with Connauton and his father about the possibility of moving to Vancouver prior to the draft, and at that time, “they were very interested.” However, they wanted to wait and see which NHL team would select him before they made a decision.
Now that Connauton is property of the Canucks, I think the possibility of him moving to the Giants increases significantly. Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis has been preaching a more hands-on approach when it comes to the development of his prospects, and to have Connauton move to Vancouver and the CHL (where there are far less limitations on NHL involvement compared to the NCAA) would certainly faciliate that. Additionally, Giants defenceman Jonathon Blum will be turning pro next season, which leaves a hole on the back end, and Connauton’s hometown is Edmonton, so moving to Vancouver would bring him closer to home. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Don Hay and the Vancouver Giants are building a very strong reputation of successfully preparing their players for professional hockey.
Stay tuned for more.
Also stay tuned for my Vancouver Canucks draft review, which will include several testimonials about each of the Canucks new prospects.