Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Taking Liberties With… Kevin Connauton

 

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 15:  Kevin Connauton #44 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on February 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Canadiens 6-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

KEVIN CONNAUTON
Position: Defenseman, Arizona Coyotes
Acquired: Signed with Arizona as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Age: 26

Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Kevin Connauton: Probably my first NHL game. There are lot of great memories in minor hockey. It was special to skate on NHL ice in the regular season game for the first time. Definitely skating in that game is my favorite so far.

AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
KC: Same thing. Another one was getting drafted (in the third round by Vancouver in 2009). That was another big moment. Just to see your name get selected and knowing that you’re that much closer to your dream, that’s a pretty good feeling.

AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
KC: Probably my family. My brother (Sean) was my mentor, and he played junior hockey and college hockey. I’m three years younger and always looked up to him and what he was doing. He definitely motivated me, and so did the rest of my family. They are always there to support me. On the ice, just seeing the older guys, the veterans and guys who have been around the league for a long time. It motivates you and pushes you to kind of fill their shoes one day.

AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
KC: Stay confident. Don’t ever get down on yourself. Don’t get down because you were cut from minor hockey teams. That means nothing. Not getting drafted in a major junior draft or the NHL draft can’t discourage you. There’s been ton of guys who fought their way into the league. It’s a matter of showing up at the rink to get better. Never get down on yourself and never believe you can’t get here.

AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
KC: I was really into golf growing up and played a bit when I was younger. When I started to play hockey, that got more serious and ate up a lot more of the summer time with the offseason training. I was a big fan of golf when I was younger, for sure.

AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
KC: No, not really. I’m not very superstitious. I have a routine, but I don’t keep it too strict. I like to kind of mix it up and not allow superstitions to creep in.

AZR: What does your game-day routine like?
KC: Get up, come to the rink, have a good breakfast, stretch out, get my sticks ready. Go out, have a good morning skate, try and be real focused on the game that night. After that, stretch out again, get a good meal in me and relax at home a bit. Hang out, like to have a nap and then get up, put the suit on and head to the rink.

AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
KC: No, but I’m actually I’m trying to hit as many restaurants as possible. I’m still pretty new to the area. Just learning the good places to eat, and get some advice from the guys who have been here for a while. But, there are many good places, for sure.

AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
KC: A couple extra dress shirts. Nothing in particular. I think the most important thing is you have to have to have a suit and tie for the game and after that, it’s pretty easy.

Photo/Getty Images

– Compiled by Mark Brown