The Arizona Coyotes announced today that they have claimed defenseman Kevin Connauton off of waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Connauton has one goal and seven assists in 27 appearances this season.
Columbus' decision to waive Connauton is likely due to the acquisition of Seth Jones. With too many players on the blue-line to give time to, the Jackets opted to attempt to send Connauton to the AHL.
Connauton has a 50.0 5v5 CF% this season, which is actually impressive given Columbus has a team 5v5 CF% of 47.8 this year. It does raise the question as to what Arizona will do with eight defensemen on the roster, now that Connauton joins Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zbynek Michalek, Connor Murphy, Michael Stone, Nicklas Grossmann, Klas Dahlbeck, and Stefan Elliott. A corresponding roster move would seem to be in order.
The Edmonton native has bounced back and forth between the AHL and NHL since he was drafted 83rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 2009. Last year he had a breakout season for Columbus, scoring nine goals and ten assists in 54 games. Arizona clearly likes his offensive upside.
So the Coyotes add a defenseman on the left side with offensive upside but inconsistent play this season. It is unclear what plans the Coyotes have for the 25 year old moving forward.