The Lake Erie Monsters are in their fifth year as the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. They currently stand at third in the North Division of the Western Conference with a 16-15-1-1 record. Like many teams in the AHL this season, the Monsters have seen a great deal of players shuttle back and forth between the AHL and NHL, the most notable being Stefan Elliot, who looks as though he may be staying in the NHL for the remainder of the season.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Goaltending depth
- Lack of depth on the wings
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
With a propensity to draft players from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL, Colorado Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman has assembled a wealth of skilled prospects who either continue to refine their game in the Canadian Hockey League, or have moved on to playing with Colorado's AHL-affiliated Lake Erie Monsters. Fewer in number are the Avalanche's prospects currently honing their craft in the NCAA or in Europe, but they do have several with the potential to be serviceable NHL players in the not-so-distant-future.
Position-wise, the Avalanche can boast about having a system that is arguably the richest in talent along the blue line, in addition to a promising plethora of young game-changers between the pipes. Up front, the Avalanche have considerably less depth, but they may still have a couple of future stars on their hands.
With a couple of first-round draft picks among the top 11 selections in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche's top 20 prospects has changed dramatically over the past six months. The updated rankings include a pair of new faces in the top two positions in Gabriel Landeskog and Duncan Siemens. Fourth-round pick Joachim Nermark also makes his debut, while Ryan Stoa and Justin Mercier make the biggest downward slides.
Following a 29th place finish in 2010-11, the Colorado Avalanche were awarded the second overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft – their highest draft pick since the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques selected Eric Lindros with the first overall pick in 1991. A midseason trade with the St. Louis Blues saw general manager Greg Sherman acquire another early first-round selection. In addition to the two picks in the first, the Avalanche had just four more picks over the remaining six rounds.
In his third draft as Colorado's general manager, Sherman added three forwards, each of whom is capable of playing the wing, and three defensemen to the Avalanche's system.