The Colorado Avalanche missed the playoffs for the second season in a row in Patrick Roy’s third season behind the bench. Just like last year, it was their slow start that hurt them down the stretch as they missed the final wild card spot by a mere few points. There are obvious weaknesses in their NHL lineup but they have several prospects who could play integral roles in the 2016-17 season.
The Colorado Avalanche’s top five prospects are as good as any other team’s in the league but after fifth-ranked Nicolas Meloche the level of talent begins to wane and big question marks appear. The front office targeted defense as a weakness a few years ago, putting emphasis on improving that area at the expense of the forward group. The lack of success in the mid- to late-rounds has not helped the team’s situation.
The San Antonio Rampage did not lose in regulation until November 7th against their rival, the Texas Stars. The month-long hot streak included six regulation wins and four overtime losses. They continued to rack up wins and stay atop the Pacific Division until December when they proceeded to lose seven in a row and a staggering 15 losses in 20 games. Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic has emphasized the need to establish a winning culture in their minor league system but knows such changes cannot be accomplished overnight.
At the raw age of 21, Andreas Martinsen has already suited up for Team Norway 60 times in international play. This past season he was a key player for his hometown team in Lillehammer, where he collected 20 goals and 48 points in 56 games. The 6-3, 220-pound forward isn’t afraid to throw his weight around either, as his 147 penalty minutes attests.