The Columbus Blue Jackets added another defenseman on Tuesday, claiming ex-Dallas blueliner Kevin Connauton off waivers.
The move comes with a trio of Columbus rearguards on the shelf — Fedor Tyutin, Ryan Murray, Cody Goloubef — and just three days following a trade which netted veteran d-man Jordan Leopold from St. Louis.
Connauton, 24, was Vancouver’s third-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and traded to Dallas at the ’13 deadline. He made his NHL debut for the Stars and went onto appear in 44 games, but just eight of those came this season; Connauton struggled to find minutes recently and had routinely been sitting as a healthy scratch.
It’s worth noting that waiving Connauton was just one of the moves Dallas made to overhaul its defense. The week prior, it traded veteran Sergei Gonchar to Montreal in exchange for forward Travis Moen.
Connauton should have a chance for minutes with the Jackets. Columbus heads into tonight’s game with a projected top-six defense of Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, Tim Erixon, Dalton Prout, David Savard and Leopold — and given how badly the Jackets have been banged up this year, there’s a good chance one of those guys could go down to injury at any given moment.