Interesting times in Dallas.
Connauton, acquired from Vancouver in the Derek Roy trade of ’13, appeared in eight games for Dallas this season, scoring two points while averaging 12:05 TOI per game. His role has been reduced after appearing in 36 regular season and four playoff games in ’13-14; Connauton’s been a healthy scratch on a number of occasions this year and has only played once this month, getting just 9:55 TOI (his second-lowest total of the year) in a 5-3 loss to San Jose on Nov. 8.
It seems as though Dallas GM Jim Nill is sticking with his plan of opening up opportunities for his young defensemen in AHL Texas.
Following the Gonchar trade, Nill said recent call-up John Klingberg has “earned the opportunity” to compete for a spot on the NHL team’s roster. He also named 18-year-old Julius Honka — the 14th overall pick in the 2014 draft — as well as Jyrki Jokipakka, 23, and Cameron Gaunce, 24, as potential call-up candidates.
The hope is that the group (which helped Texas win the Calder Cup last year) can find similar success at the NHL level. Dallas’ defense has been a problem spot all season long and the team is allowing 3.33 goals per game, third-worst in the league.