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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Kevin Connauton Exceeding Expectations

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From an unknown name around Dallas to one of the leading defensemen in Austin, Kevin Connauton has impressed Stars fans all over Texas.

Rich Lam

When Derek Roy was first traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2nd Round pick and a prospect, Stars fans were immediately excited -- about that 2nd Round pick. There were not many Stars fans who recognized who Kevin Connauton was. After all, he was on a below average AHL team, with 25 points and minus 12 through 60 games. At first, it didn't seem like there was much to be excited about.

However, there are often times where good players can be buried in bad teams. That certainly seems to be the case here, as Connauton has done nothing but impress since putting on the Texas sweater. In just nine games for Texas, he had 6 points (2-4-6) and was a plus-2. Not bad for someone coming into a brand new system.

During the playoffs, he was the pivotal guy throughout the first series. He was the power play quarterback much of the time, and helped to drive offensive chances. In fact, through the first four games of the playoffs, he currently leads the Texas Stars in scoring. Not just the defense, but the entire team. Chiasson, by comparison, "only" has two goals, while Connauton has two goals and two assists.

He certainly seems to be the offensive-minded defenseman that the Dallas Stars are looking for.

Mark Stepneski has much more on the newly acquired defenseman, and his skill set.

"I've been labeled the offensive defenseman, which is something I definitely bring to the table," he said. "Having that forward background, I really like jumping into the play. I think I play a well-rounded game and I think I can handle my own in the defensive zone. I like to be someone that my teammates and my coaches can trust. But if you were to label me, it would be more on the offensive side for sure."

And one of his best assets is his ability to move the puck out of the defensive zone and do it quickly.

"That's the way the game is now, it's very much north-south, let's get going, direct, whatever terminology you want to use that day and, yeah, he's very quick," said Lidster.

"You've got to get pucks up quick," said Connauton. "The longer you have it, the more time you are letting the other team set up and letting them close in on you, and you never want to find yourself stranded with it. Getting the pucks up and letting the play stay in front of you is important."

Looking back on the Derek Roy trade (especially after last night), the Stars have won on this deal hands down. Now Stars fans can be excited about the defenseman who will be up in Dallas next season, and that 2nd Round draft pick is nothing more than an added bonus. Make sure your check out the whole article, as there are a number of interesting things to learn about him. Given his age and his skill set, Stars fans can look forward to seeing him in a green(?!) sweater soon.

Coming up in today's links: Jack Jablonski has a dream come true, more on the Stars Organization, and "everything is happening" in the playoffs.

  • Jack Jablonski, a young hockey player who was paralyzed after an awkward hit, was drafted by the USHL last night. It was in an extremely late round, but having your name called like that has to be a dream come true. [Puck Daddy]
  • Bob Sturm breaks down a bunch of stats on the Dallas Stars over the last five seasons to take a look at some concerning trends, and where the Stars need to improve. [Fox Sports]
  • Mark Stepneski has our World Championshi notes, including Philip Larsen being the primary assist in the OT winner for Denmark. It's good to see him doing well there. [Stars Inside Edge]
  • Marty Turco is holding a poker fundraiser on June 3rd for Children's Medical Center. Man, I really wish I could go. Someone needs to go in my stead. [Stars Inside Edge]
  • The finalists for the Norris trophy are out. The names are..... predictable. [Stars Inside Edge]
  • Mike Heika sat down for an interview with Stars GM Jim Nill, and gets some insight into what is next for him and the team. Interesting note is how much drafting news changes between the end of the season and draft day. It sounds like if Nill had still been in Detroit during those talks this summer, he would not have been allowed to help us draft. If that's the case, I'm glad we got him ahead of time. [Dallas News]
  • The Allen Americans won last night by a score of 5-1, despite starting the game off with a five minute major. They now take a 3-2 lead in the finals. [Dallas News]
  • Here's another take on the "Conspiracy theory" article for the Wings from yesterday. These are the exact points I thought about, myself. Get out of my brain, Wyshynski. [Puck Daddy]
  • Every year, there are ten players you meet in the NHL playoffs. This is a list of those players, perfectly summed up. [Grantland]
  • After the Sharks swept the Canucks last night, they handed the broom of to the Vancouver owner, who is likely going to be doing some sweeping changes of his own. [Sportsnet]
  • In case you missed it last night (I fell asleep around 1:30, so I did), here is a video replay of the boarding penalty that led to the Sharks power play goal in overtime. There were not many people happy about this call. What do you guys think? Personally, I think that call gets made in games 1-82, even if it is a weak one. In fact, I can remember Robidas being on the unfair end of those calls several times. However, for an OT elimination game? When everything else is being let go already? Ehhhh.... I don't know about that. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Sharks perspective, meanwhile, is that it was a gritty win. I tend to agree. It was a pretty good series, on the whole. [Fear The Fin]
  • If you didn't watch the Penguins and the Islanders duking it out, you missed an amazing game. But with Fleury surrendering six goals yesterday, is it possible he might sit for game 5? [Puck Daddy]
  • If you didn't watch the Senators and the Canadiens, you missed an amazing finish. A possibly-maybe-kicked goal that counted, and a game tying goal in the final minute. Plus, Carey Price decided to injure himself and sit out of overtime. Crazy. [Puck Daddy]
  • Besides the sweep of Vancouver, it's possible that every other game in the first round will go to at least six games. There are a ton of great story lines right now, and we're being spoiled by them. [SB Nation]
  • Jaromir Jagr helped Boston with their win in Game 3, and they need his scoring ways to continue. [Boston Herald]
  • Jim Nill also sat down with Ali Lucia (who, if you haven't visited the Stars site lately, is putting out some great quality videos), and talked about the future of this franchise. Now we just have to wait another month and a half until we really get to see what he has in store for us.