Colorado Avalanche Prospect Update


The Colorado Avalanche has had the disadvantage of a lot their prospects becoming too mature for the minor leagues. This leaves them with a poor selection of prospects. Below are the stats of most of their “young guns”.

[table id=13 /]

Although a lot of guys in the Avalanche system aren’t the best in the league, there are still some players that are worth mentioning.

Chris Bigras is the best prospect on the Avalanche this year, and he added respect from many others after the performance he turned in after he was cut from Team Canada’s World Junior roster. Since coming back from Team Canada camp, in the 6 games Bigras has played for the Owen Sound Attack, he has 2 goals and 11 assists.

This outstanding play from Bigras might change the minds of Avalanche coach Patrick Roy. Towards the end of last year’s regular season, Roy was asked by The Denver Post if Bigras could see a re-call during the playoffs. Roy would respond by saying “It would be better for Bigras to finish out his junior career before turning pro.” WIth Chris Bigras’ stellar play this season, it is hard to think Roy doesn’t take another look come next year’s training camp.

Although Conner Bleackley is known more for his determination rather than his flashiness, Bleackley is 3rd on the Rebels in scoring. Bleackley has really taken off the past two years for the Red Deer Rebels and has been very consistent. Bleackley is scoring just below a point per game rate and his setting himself up to finish with a one point better than his total last year at 68 points in 71 games.

At 18 years of age,  Bleackley’s best bet would be to finish his year in the WHL, and then return there next year as well. Bleackley is 6’0″ and 192 lbs, so he has size, but sending him back to the Rebels next year would allow him to work on his hands and other offensive skills that are not quite NHL ready.

When Julien Nantel entered the QMJHL during the 2012-2013 season, he entered as a left winger. The next season Nantel would play the center position and has found a home for it now. Last season, his first as a center in the Q, Nantel was about 50% on draws. He was 267 for 516, which is pretty good for his first season in the middle playing in highly competitive league. This year, Nantel is just below a point per game player and 4th on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in scoring. As for face-offs, Nantel has regressed a bit and is at a 47.5% rate.

Those three guys are about it when it comes to productive prospects for the Colorado Avalanche. Due to the slide that the team is facing during this season, the 2014-2015 season, the Avs could quite possibly top 10 pick. With the 2015 draft filled with plenty of incredible prospects, the Avalanche can add a game changer to their pipeline. The Avalanche currently sit at 2oth place in the NHL, which would be 10th on the draft board. A player most likely to go at that position would be Finnish forward Mikko Rantanen, WHL forwards Nick Merkley and Mathew Barzal, or WHL defenseman Ivan Provorov.