When the Arizona Coyotes dealt future Stanley Cup Champion netminder Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche before last season, many were impressed with the return: a first-round pick and defense prospect Conor Timmins. With Timmins playing just six games for the Coyotes in 2021-22 before suffering a season-ending knee injury, though, many have forgot about his place within the organization. As revealed by PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan, however, Timmins is healthy and ready to start next season, hopefully his first full one with the team.
After falling to the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft, the Avalanche finally selected Timmins with the 32nd overall pick (the first pick of the round at the time). Timmins was coming off a strong season with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds in which he scored 61 points in 67 games, tying him for fourth in the league among defensemen with current Detroit Red Wings defender Filip Hronek.
His next season, 2017-18, saw Timmins’ stock rise above his draft position. Scoring over a point per game with the Soo, he was also named to Canada’s World Junior team that year, where he had five points and a +15 rating in seven games. Soon after returning from the World Junior tournament, though, Timmins suffered an ankle injury which limited him to just 36 regular-season games. He returned in time for the playoffs, scoring 18 points in 23 games on a half-healed ankle, before suffering a severe concussion in the next-to-last game of the OHL finals. That concussion and its effects caused Timmins to miss the entire 2018-19 season.
That’s two out of the past four seasons in which Timmins has missed all or nearly every game of the year, robbing him of valuable development time. He had a strong showing in his first AHL season in 2019-20, potting 27 points in 40 games, but was limited to a sixth/seventh defenseman role for Colorado in 2020-21, where he had seven assists in 31 games.
Still looking for his first NHL goal, Timmins will fight to get a consistent lineup spot on a wide-open right side in Arizona that also includes Dysin Mayo, Troy Stecher, Josh Brown, and Victor Söderström. Hopefully, for Timmins and the Coyotes, season-ending injuries become a thing of the past.