Photo: Second overall pick Gabriel Landeskog won the Calder Trophy in 2012, an Olympic silver medal, and a World Championship gold medal, but awaits the support for NHL playoff success (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)
Obviously, the 2010-11 NHL season was from the Colorado Avalanche perspective a forgettable one. The team finished a mere six points ahead of the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oilers. Matt Duchene was the team’s leading scorer in just his second season in the league, but the goaltending trio of Craig Anderson, Peter Budaj and Brian Elliott all posted save percentages under .900. Legendary Avs Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote each played their last games in the NHL that season as well, signalling the closing of an era of dominance. Read more»
Photo: Winger Troy Bourke, currently ranked second on the Prince George Cougars in scoring, is one of the Avalanche prospects that is making his mark at the junior level during the 2012-13 campaign. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche currently have eight players developing in the junior league ranks, including their second first-round draft pick from the 2011 NHL Draft, defenseman Duncan Siemens, who joined Team Canada for the 2012 Subway Super Series with Team Russia but was left off of the World Junior roster in Ufa.
Photo: Cameron Gaunce is one of several experienced defensive prospects in the Avalanche prospect pool on the verge of making the NHL. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
With players like Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene quickly ascending to the pro ranks, it is easy to see why the Colorado Avalanche’s prospect cupboards might be a bit bare. On the surface that is certainly the case, but if you dig a little deeper and poke around, you can see that there is at least a little depth to be had at every position – even the ones that do not appear to have it.
Photo: Although he is stuck in the AHL with Lake Erie so far this season, Mark Olver is among the most NHL-ready prospects in the Colorado Avalanche system. (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
Despite having a rather shallow system outside of the pro ranks, the Colorado Avalanche
slowly amassed one of the deepest pools of professional prospects in the NHL. From Stefan Elliott
to Michael Sgarbossa
and Mark Olver
, the team has a wealth of pro prospects able to make the jump to the NHL when called upon. Throw in four goaltending prospects in the minors with the potential to play in the NHL, and the upcoming season promises to be worth watching for the Avs' prospects.
Photo: Goaltender Kent Patterson signed a two-year entry-level deal with Colorado at the conclusion of his senior year with Minnesota. In his last year with the Golden Gophers, Patterson managed a record of 28-14-1. (Patrick Green/ Icon SMI)
Neither the Colorado Avalanche nor their AHL-affiliated Lake Erie Monsters managed to crack the playoffs this season, but a handful of their prospects were still playing hockey when their team's respective regular seasons ended. The Avalanche system saw players contending in the postseason both overseas and at the NCAA and Canadian major junior levels.