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.
For the first time in team history, the Avalanche left an entry draft without selecting any players from the WHL or OHL. Head coach Patrick Roy’s emphasis on targeting players from Europe and Quebec is a complete reversal from the previous regime’s preference and is just one of many philosophical differences in how he wants to run the organization with General Manager Joe Sakic.
Prospect Faceoff returns to Hockey’s Future with a pair of recently re-assigned Philadelphia Flyers prospects kicking off their junior season in style. In Ottawa, Travis Konecny goes one-on-one against one of 2015’s breakout stars in Andrew Mangiapane. Another Flyers prospect recently returned to his junior team, Travis Sanheim, goes against a steady performer in Luke Philp. The QMJHL is already underway, and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Dmytro Timashov’s playmaking abilities will be tested against Nicolas Meloche. Finally, the USHL kicks off their regular season this weekend and two late-round European prospects should see a lot of each other in a prime weekend venue. Read more»