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.
Photo: London Knights captain Jarred Tinordi and his London Knights teammates fell just short of a Memorial Cup championship. Tinordi is a top prospect of the Montreal Canadiens (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
Below is the bottom third of the ranking of the prospect depth of the NHL organizations as voted by the 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 each season, in the fall and spring.
Photo: Defenseman Tyson Barrie is one of several defensive prospects for the Avalanche to see some NHL duties in 2011-12. (Photo courtesy of
Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
Below is the first edition of the Colorado Avalanche prospect awards. Featuring most prominently are a troika of defensemen whose skill and efforts have elevated them to the top of the organization's prospect pool.
Most Improved Prospect: Michael Sgarbossa, C, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
Last summer’s second overall pick at the NHL Draft, Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, jumped straight into the NHL as many thought he might. Landeskog has traveled far in one year's time, as he now stands as a finalist for the Calder Trophy given to the NHL's Rookie of the Year.
Photo: Goaltender Kieran Millan recently finished an illustrious four-year NCAA career with Boston University. (Photo courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
When it comes to the annual NHL draft the Colorado Avalanche appear more likely to turn to NCAA-feeder leagues for their selections than to Europe, with six players currently playing college hockey to just three overseas. The Avalanche management team has assembled a respectable group of NCAA and European prospects and while none are ready to make the jump to the NHL at the present time, at least four players could see duty at hockey's most elite level within two years, three of whom are goaltenders.