Colorado Avalanche Preview 2016
The youth movement continues in Colorado. Gone are veterans Mark Giordano, David Perron, Frans Nielsen, Karl Alzner, Carl Soderberg and Antti Raanta. Draft picks in 2016 and 2017 were obtained in each of these moves that will help build the highly anticipated successful future Av’s management is counting on.
Front office staff is excited about the talent obtained from these trades and draft picks. Now on the roster are the following:
Bo Horvat – C chosen third overall in the second round of last year’s draft by Chicago, Horvat followed up with a solid 16 goal and 24 assist season. At 21 years old we hope he continues to progress as he gains experience.
Sam Reinhart – drafted 6th overall this year. With 23 goals as a rookie we hope he becomes a 30 goal guy that will be a top six forward for years to come.
Max Domi- drafted him 11th overall – couldn’t believe he was still available at that spot, which facilitated the Frans Nielsen trade. Domi is a similar play maker as Nielsen but at 15 years younger should become a better goal scorer in time.
Nikolaj Ehlers – another first round draft pick that projects to become a 25-30 goal scorer. We see a high celing with this young player
Ryan Pullock – Right hand shot defenseman that plays well in his own zone and possesses a canon of a shot. Watch for him to develop as a top PP point man with an edge.
Chris Bigras – A surprise second round pick but our scouts were pushing for management to draft this guy. Young defender projected to be a top four pairing guy with the NHL’s Avalanche. Fingers crossed.
Reid Boucher – very skilled forward and crafty with the puck. We had him projected as a second round pick and were happy to see him in the third round. Has a one year deal in New Jersey and hopefuly teams up with Hall to add to his point total.
Nic Petan – WHL scoring machine that had an audition with the Jets last year. Can be a real playmaking threat and has some grittiness to his game.
Nick Cousins – Looks to see more ice time this year in Philly and build on his stats from last year.
Casey Nelson – NCAA defenceman who is slated to be on the Sabres roster this year. Has awesome playmaking skills and is a solid defender.
Daniel Carr – NCAA forward who should see some opportunities on the Habs team this year. Could project to be another 20 goal guy.
Brandon Davidson – hopes to become a depth defenseman with a solid two way game.
Balance of Avalanche Roster:
Ryan Johansson had a sub par season but we hope he has a sensational bounce back season this year. Same can be said for the injured RNH who needs to step it up this season. Reilly Smith continues to emerge as top two way forward that can score, while the same can be said for draft picks Victor Rask and Rickard Rakell. Vincent Trocheck has also been a pleasant 3rd round draft pick addition to our club. Marcus Johanson gives us depth as a utility forward that can play anywhere and Alex Killorn gives us some defense up front along with some intimidation. Anders Lee and Brock Nelson continue to emerge as top forwards as does Ryan Spooner. It will be a make or break season for former draft picks Sven Beartschi, Zemgus Girgensons and in particular former first overall pick Nail Yakupov. Chris Tierney is developing well in the minors and looks to make the big club next year.
Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson continue to get better every year as does the Finnish pairing of Sami Vatanen and Olli Maata. Jared Spurgeon is a top pairing RD with solid defense and a good offensive upside. Derrick Pouliot, last year’s first round pick continues to toil in the minors developing his game and Thomas Hickey adds some depth to our back end. Rookies will see ice time this year as games will need to be made up with the trading of Giordano and Alzner.
Rask and Rinne will share the bulk of the games although neither had a great season. Carter Hutton will also play 17 games this year. This may be an area that management addresses next.
We see a lot of 7-6 or 6-5 games in our immediate future. With a lot of firepower and young defenders with underperforming goalies, there will be a lot of goals scored in Colorado games this year. Hopes are not large on making the playoffs but rather seeing our players develop over the next year. We are however looking at what should be a very bright future in Colorado.
Kevin – Colorado Avalanche