The narratives down in Lake Erie and Fort Wayne are a lot different than in Denver. In the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche is struggling to stay out of the basement and currently sits in last place in the Central Division after claiming the title last year. In Cleveland, the Monsters are ninth in the AHL’s Western Conference but only four points away from fifth place with games in hand. In Fort Wayne, the Komets are at the top of the ECHL.
While much can be said about the Colorado Avalanche being led by their young stars at the NHL level, there is not much the team can depend on for depth if immediate help is required. Graduations of high draft picks from recent years have led to a bare farm system that will take years to refresh.
The AHL’s Midwest Division features several talented incoming rookies including Rockford’s Teuvo Teravainen and Grand Rapids’ Anthony Mantha, as well as several key prospects entering their second pro season such as Chicago’s Ty Rattie and the duo of Miikka Salomaki and Colton Sissons in Milwaukee. Read more»
When Patrick Roy took over as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, the team was presented with an opportunity for a new start. Together, the team and coach took the NHL by surprise and captured the Central Division title with 112 points in the regular season. It followed up that performance by taking the Minnesota Wild to seven games in the 2014 playoffs but ultimately lost in overtime of the final game.
Two key Colorado Avalanche players did not stay prospects for long as both surpassed the 65-NHL-game mark in 2013-14. 18-year-old forward Nathan MacKinnon entered the league under the bright spotlights of being the 2013 NHL Draft’s first overall pick and did not disappoint. He ended the season as the Calder Trophy favorite and was unanimously voted as the trophy winner. Tyson Barrie also had a statement season when he cemented himself as a key figure on the Avalanche blue line, contributing offense in even-strength situations as well as on the power play.