2010-11: Connor Chatham attended USA Hockey’s Select 15 Development camp in July 2010 and appeared in twelve games for the St. Louis Junior Blues midget AAA team; missing much of the year due to shoulder surgery. He scored 2 goals with 2 penalty minutes. In March 2011 he committed to skating in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the 2011-12 season. Chatham was selected by Plymouth in the fifth round (88th overall) of the 2011 OHL Priority Draft.
2011-12: Chatham skated in 56 games for the US NTDP’s U17 team in his first season in Ann Arbor and skated for the USA’s silver-medal winning U17 squad at the 2012 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. He scored 7 goals with 13 assists and had 45 penalty minutes in the regular season. In five games at the WHC he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had 4 penalty minutes. Chatham committed to playing college hockey at the University of Denver in July 2011 and was selected by Omaha in the third round (39th overall) of the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.
2012-13: Chatham left the NDTP to skate for Omaha in the USHL; appearing in 63 games for the Lancers. He was the team’s third leading scorer with 18 goals and 17 assists and was -12 with 71 penalty minutes. Omaha finished fifth in the Western Conference; missing the USHL playoffs. In July 2013 he signed with the OHL’s Whalers; opting out of his commitment to Denver.
2013-14: Chatham was one of several first-year OHL players to join defending West Division champion Plymouth. Showing steady progress skating for the rebuilt Whalers he scored 13 goals with 18 assists and was minus-17 with 51 penalty minutes in 54 games; missing time in October due to a hand injury. Plymouth finished fourth in the West Division, making the playoffs with a losing record, and lost to eventual champion Guelph in the first round. Chatham scored 3 goals and was minus-2 with 6 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He skated in the 2013 USA Hockey CCM All-American Prospects game in September. Chatham was ranked 46th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by New Jersey in the third round (71st overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Chatham is best described as an energy player. He plays a rugged, two-way style similar to that of St. Louis Blues captain David Backes. He is quite powerful and was arguably the strongest player amongst his draft class. Considering his style and size he can move up and down the ice exceptionally well and puts in a consistent effort every night. Chatham’s scoring abilities have slowly risen thanks to opportunities in juniors, but he is not expected to become a scoring factor in the pros due to his limited offensive ceiling.
Chatham will return to Plymouth in 2015-16 where he performed decently in a bigger role. He was surprisingly successful when put into offensive roles, hinting that there may be more to him than meets the eye. Yet his limited ceiling might not allow him to transfer those skills over to the pros. In either case, he still projects to become a power-forward in the NHL one day.