CHARACTER COUNTS

Coyotes fan with autism, scouting aspirations joined team at NHL Draft

Jul 11, 2019, 3:37 PM | Updated: 4:06 pm

The Arizona Coyotes had an extra scout with them for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Connor Havens, a Coyotes fan who was diagnosed with autism, received an invite from Coyotes general manager John Chayka to come join the team on the floor at the draft.

“We heard you graduated, so we wanted to give you a special gift,” Chayka said in a video message for Havens. “How would you feel about coming to the 2019 draft in Vancouver? Our scouts might need help so make sure you’ve got your list ready.”

At Rogers Arena, home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, Chayka and the Coyotes made selections across the two-day draft starting with Victor Soderstrom in the first round and ending with Valentin Nussbaumer in the seventh round. Havens was credentialed and was shown in a video from the team chatting on the draft floor with Chayka and assistant GM Steve Sullivan.

“I want to be a scout,” he told Chayka, later recommending that the team select defenseman Adam McCormick from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the QMJHL.

“Connor just reached out and just graduated there. Came down, had a few ideas for us, really pounded the table in the seventh round,” Chayka said. “He had a guy on his list that he felt was there late. So, might be an invite, so we’ll see. But I really enjoyed him.”

McCormick, who had 30 points in 63 games last year, went undrafted.

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