It’s a story almost as old as time, a promising young athlete’s career is derailed and their potential unfulfilled due to persistent injuries.
But there are some cases where said athlete has another chance, a glimmer of hope that could see them attempt to get their career back on track.
That certainly appears to be the case with 21-year-old defenceman Connor Hall, who has reportedly been invited to attend the rookie and main camps with the Arizona Coyotes this summer.
Hall, a Cambridge, Ontario native, was once a promising defensive prospect playing for the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League.
He used his impressive 6-foot-2, 203lbs frame to play a physical, defence-heavy game and was highly touted early on in his career.
Shoulder injuries have plagued Hall throughout his career, limiting him to 39 regular season appearances during his draft year.
But the talent and potential were there, with Hall registering a goal and five total points in nine OHL playoff games, so the Pittsburgh Penguins took a gamble on him, selecting him in the third round (77th overall) in the 2016 Draft.
The injuries wouldn’t let up, however, seeing Hall go on to make 68 regular season appearances with the OHL Rangers over the following three seasons.
His career-high to date is 47 appearances during the 2017/18 season, a campaign in which he was handed the coveted alternate captain’s ‘A’.
The following season, Hall made just four appearances and required surgeries to correct the persistent should issues he has had throughout his playing days.
With his career seemingly dead in the water, the Penguins allowed his rights to expire.
It now appears that Hall has one last opportunity to show his potential, with the Arizona Coyotes inviting him along to both their rookie and main training camp.
For Hall, this will give him a shot at impressing an NHL team that is both defensive-minded on the ice and has taken great strides towards developing young guys with chips on their shoulders.
According to The Record, Hall has changed his diet this off-season, shedding some weight after his surgeries and has been working hard to get back to full fitness.
He has been training five days a week with Brandon Merli, director of sport science and sevelopment coach for Kitchener, as well as the Coyotes’ very own Scott Walker, who now works as a special assistant to general manager John Chayka.
His chances of reaching the NHL are slim, by every stretch of the imagination, but the Arizona Coyotes provide him with a legitimate opportunity to get his foot in the door.
If the left-handed blueliner can impress during camp, he may have an opportunity to continue his development with the Tucson Roadrunners.
The Coyotes organisation is working hard to use their AHL affiliates as a legitimate farm team, helping to bring along those they believe have real potential.
For Hall, he will need to make every moment count in camp and prove that he can over come the injuries that have followed him around for the majority of his playing career.