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.
In just 24 hours, the Colorado Avalanche dramatically changed the college and European pipelines from bleak to optimistic. On June 26th, 2015, the team sent forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres and in return received JT Compher as part of a four-piece package. One day later at the 2015 NHL Draft, the team selected 21-year old Andrei Mironov from the KHL. Mironov’s age and extensive international and professional experience made it easier for the Avalanche to see what they have in him as a prospect.
Mikko Rantanen didn’t plan on or expect to win the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the American Hockey League’s outstanding rookie.
The 19-year-old Finland native and Colorado Avalanche prospect knew he had a strong season, but looking across the league he knew the goal-per-game rate (albeit in less games) of the Providence Bruins’ Frank Vatrano would be tough to beat. Read more»
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.