“We’ve got a couple of young players we really like – Kevin Connauton and we think this young guy, Frankie Corrado, who unfortunately has a year of junior left, he went to Chicago last year and Craig MacTavish loved him. He’s a very good young player, a right-hand shot, skates well with good size.
“He played very well on his junior team, which wasn’t a very strong team, and when he got to Chicago he got right into the lineup and played a regular shift.
“He’ll have an opportunity.” On why the Canucks gave up so fast on Marc-Andre Gragnani: “It wasn’t so much that we gave up on him, he just didn’t seem a fit for us.
“When we acquired him we were looking for a specific skill set that we thought he possessed, we thought he could help us with. At the end of the day we thought Kevin Connauton’s development in Chicago rivalled that of Marc-Andre.
“He’s a guy we drafted and who we have very high hopes for, he’s a bigger player, he skates extremely well, he’s got great offence. We felt, at the end of the day, we’d be better off giving him an opportunity.”
Gillis seems very
high on Connauton. Evidently they thought his development has overtaken Gragnani, as well that they apparently overestimated how fast Gragnani could climb the learning curve of playing the Canucks' system. I guess you could look at it as a better way to go and let Gragnani find his opportunities elsewhere rather than keeping him on the payroll and burying him in the minors because someone else climbed over him on the depth chart. I'm thinking there's a very real chance Connauton could be a 7th defenceman to ease him into the line-up if he impresses in training camp.
Also interesting to see the love for Corrado. I saw him a couple of times watching 67's games and he seemed significantly more polished on the ice compared to many of his blueline peers. Frankly was quietly pleased with that selection, but good to hear that an NHL-calibre coach like MacT, as well as the organization, think highly of him. Too bad he has to go back to a weak Sudbury team. He may turn out to be a Bieksa 2.0 - for better or worse
Love the Sport. Love the Team.
Hate the League. Live from Riga, bitches...