Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins turns heads as he plays training camp


The Arizona Coyotes preseason schedule kicks off Monday night at the Gila River Arena when the Coyotes face the Los Angeles Kings. The plan over the course of the six preseason games, head coach André Tourigny said on Sunday, is to get some action for his veteran players who will be on the NHL roster at the start of the regular season.

Some rookies and young players will also see the time, and among them is Conor Timmins, one of the many new faces of the squad that fans might see throughout the season on the blue line.

When the Coyotes traded Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche in late July, most of the deal was the 2022 first-round pick Arizona received. But the Coyotes also landed Timmins, a promising 23-year-old with NHL background and considered a top prospect with the Avalanche.

Timmins could be more than just a hope for the Coyotes. General manager Bill Armstrong once called him a “big cap” NHL player who could be in the top four defensemen.

Defender lines and pairs can always change during training camp, but on Sunday Timmins teamed up with Jakob Chychrun in training. Chychrun is the Coyotes’ best returning player this season.

“For me, I was just excited. It’s a new start for me and a new opportunity, ”said Timmins. “Obviously I’ve seen what they’re doing here this summer and it’s going to be exciting to be able to build this from scratch with these guys.”

May 1, 2021;  Denver, Colorado, United States;  Colorado Avalanche defenseman Conor Timmins (22) passes the puck in the second period against the San Jose Sharks at Ball Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Timmins played 31 regular season and 10 playoff games with the Avalanche last season, collecting seven assists. The 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft also played in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, where then St. Louis Blues executive Armstrong said Timmins stood out. for him.

Timmins helped Canada win the gold medal in this tournament, assisting on the winning goal in the gold medal game. Soon after, he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Avalanche.

He was in the playoffs that year with his junior team when he suffered a concussion, and the lingering effects kept him from playing in the 2018-19 season.

But Timmins is back from injury, and these days, like so many Coyotes teammates, he has something to prove as he hopes to finally get a full season in the NHL.

“I think I showed what I can do last year when I was with the Avs. They were a top team in the league, and being able to break into this roster was tough, ”said Timmins. “I showed my ability to play in a top-six role (for defensemen) in the playoffs and play against top competitors. So, at the start of the year, I’m really confident and excited to prove what I can do.

Timmins played primarily for the AHL Avalanche team, the Colorado Eagles, in 2019-20, and then played a handful of games with them last season. Tucson Roadrunners assistant coach Steve Potvin didn’t see much of Timmins last season, but at camp he was impressed with Timmins’ play.

“He gets my attention on the offensive end all the time,” said Potvin. “What he does on the ice with the puck, he looks great.

Timmins also obtained the endorsement of Tourigny.

“I’m really happy with him. He’s one of the guys I can’t wait to see play in the game (pre-season), ”said Tourigny. “He’s making really good progress. I like his level of competition. He’s playing with confidence right now in training.”

Contact Jose Romero at [email protected] Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM.

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