With one of the worst non-expansion teams in NHL history, the Colorado Avalanche finished the 2016-17 season with just 48 points, and were 30th, or last, in the NHL. Despite rumors of trading C Matt Duchene, hall-of-fame GM Joe Sakic held on to Duchene. But, he did not hold on to some other players. Let\’s look at what Sakic did do.
Notable additions: F Colin Wilson, F Nail Yakupov, G Jonathan Bernier, D David Worsofsky, F Alex Kerfoot.
Notable subtractions: Mikhail Grigorenko, G Calvin Pickard, D Francois Beauchemin, D Patrick Wiercioch, F John Mitchell, D Fedor Tyutin, D Will Butcher.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Sven Andrighetto – Nathan MacKinnon – Matt Duchene
Gabriel Landeskog – Tyson Jost – Mikko Rantanen
J.T. Compher – Alex Kerfoot – Nail Yakupov
Joe Colborne – Carl Soderberg – Colin Wilson.
The first line worked well together after Andrighetto was acquired at the deadline. Landeskog can work well work the other two young guys. Compher and Kerfoot are looking for a solid rookie year. Colborne and Soderberg disappointed last year, and will be moved down to the 4th line. Matt Nieto and Blake Comeau are the extra forwards.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie
Mark Barberio – Erik Johnson
Duncan Siemens – Cale Makar
Zadorov is trying to breakout, and playing with a good defenseman in Barrie helps. The second pairing is simple. Makar, the 4th overall pick, can make the team, in my opinion. David Worsofsky is the 7th defenseman.
Varlamov is a solid starter, and Bernier was good last year in his first year as a backup.
The Avs are still the same team that finished under 50 points last year. There is no way that they are making the playoffs this year.