Connor Punnett has signed with Dallas
Photo credit: OHL

Western Conference team steps up and swipes 6'2 hard-nosed defenseman before Leafs could strike

Published March 7, 2024 at 9:28
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

On Friday last week, the CHL free agent window opened allowing NHL teams to sign undrafted free agents from the OHL, WHL and QMJHL. When the window opened, many Leaf fans believed that the Leafs would make an attempt to sign Oshawa Generals defenseman Connor Punnett as they had been heavily scouting him throughout the season. Unfortunately, the Leafs lost out to the Dallas Stars as Sportsnet's Jeff Marek reported this morning that Punnett has signed an entry-level deal in Dallas.

Punnett was an attendee at Detroit Red Wings rookie camp this past summer before re-joining the Barrie Colts and then being dealt to the Generals. The 6'2, 200 pound left-shot blueliner is not the most offensively gifted, but according to scouts has a booming shot, is physical and is very sound defensively.

Although the Leafs are in desperate need of a righty on their blueline, with the likes of Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie (both left shots) aging and being UFAs at the end of the season, adding a 20-year-old lefty to the organization would not have been the 'end all, be all' of moves, but might have been wise. Thankfully, left-shot defensemen are more readily available than righties, so finding one this summer shouldn't be overly difficult.

Through 59 games split between the Colts and Generals this season, Punnett has 50 points and 108 penalty minutes.


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March 7   |   331 answers
Western Conference team steps up and swipes 6'2 hard-nosed defenseman before Leafs could strike

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