Photo: Colorado Avalanche prospect Colin Smith turned in a big offensive week for the WHL's Kamloops Blazers (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Kamloops Blazers’ forward Colin Smith is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week.
Tyson Barrie, who made his NHL debut in 2011-12 with the Avalanche, is one of several promising defensive prospects in the Avalanche system. (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
The Colorado Avalanche’s defensive and goaltending prospects occupy eight of its top 10 spots. From offensive-minded defensemen to stay at home defenders, the Avs’ future on the blue line is looking bright. The biggest problem Colorado is facing is a lack of premium offensive talent in its system. Michael Sgarbossa and Joey Hishon have the potential to be impact NHL players, but the list ends there. Colorado is stacked with undersized forwards who consistently get hurt playing too physically on the ice.
Photo: Winger Troy Bourke is one of five forwards the Colorado Avalanche selected at the 2012 NHL Draft. (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
As predicted in the Colorado Avalanche's draft preview, general manager Greg Sherman and director of amateur scouting Rick Pracey targeted scoring forwards in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, selecting two left wingers and three pivots with their five selections.
Photo: Fans of the Colorado Avalanche have quickly developed an affinity for potential Rookie of the Year Gabriel Landeskog, the team's top pick at the 2011 NHL Draft (courtesy of Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)
The Colorado Avalanche finished the season with a 41-35-6 record and seven points out of a playoff berth. The future is bright though, as the Avalanche have a solid young core of talent at the NHL level with more on the way.
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.