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: Though the Columbus Blue Jackets added several important prospects this past off-season, none were more prominent than defenseman Ryan Murray, who was selected second overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Below is the bottom third of the NHL Team Rankings in terms of prospects as voted on by Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
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: 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.