The dog days of summer are finally here for hockey fans. All the excitement of the draft has finally evaporated and Free Agent Frenzy has passed. As of now, NHL teams are holding their prospect development camps to get an idea of how their new shiny toys stack up versus their other prospects.
October appears to be a light-year away. Fortunately for you, Frozen Futures has you covered. Each day we will be going over the Top 20 Prospects for a team in the NHL. From Anaheim to Winnipeg, we have you covered. This post is the Colorado Avalanche Top 20 Prospects
We will consider all players who have played in 65 NHL games or less before the age of 24 as prospects.
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The Colorado Avalanche have dipped between contender and pretender over the past half decade. They tend to fluctuate between being a playoff team or lottery team. With a forward core comprised of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene supplemented by Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie on defense, the Avalanche are in a position be comfortable when drafting the best pick available.
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mikko Rantanen poses with team executives after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mikko Rantanen, the top ranked Avalanche prospect is a great example of Colorado taking the best pick available. Chosen at 10th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, Rantanen could potentially play in the NHL this season after he signed an entry-level contact earlier in July.
The second highest scoring defenseman in the OHL, Chris Bigras, is positioned at second on the Top 20 list. Bigras put up 71 points and has super high awareness when he is on ice.
Conner Bleackley scored 27 goals in 51 games last season and finds himself ranked third. He projects as a smart, steady, two-way centerman who can provide some offensive output.
JT Compher was acquired in the Ryan O’Reilly trade. He will return as team captain at the University of Michigan this year. He’s a versatile forward with a couple question marks surrounding if he can transition to the pros.
Promising goaltender Calvin Pickard was able to earn a couple starts last year in the NHL. While he still hasn’t posted impressive numbers at the AHL level, his confidence will help him progress.
Who do you think is the #1 prospect in the Colorado Avalanche system? Vote in the poll below!
Come back tomorrow for the Columbus Blue Jackets Top 20 Prospects rankings!
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