Final Grade: Michael Vernace



12 0 0 0 -5 8 0 0 0 0 9


Final Grade







Midseason Grade:  NA

Final Grade: INC

Joined Team: Acquired from San Jose on June 1, 2006 for a 2007 6th round pick.

MHH Nicknames: None yet


  • Hannan (6)
  • Peltier (3)
  • Nycholat (1)
  • Clark (1)
  • Liles (1)

Ice Time:*

  • TOT 19:39 (7th)
  • EV 16:53 (7th)
  • PK 2:13 (7th)
  • SH :32 (8th)

*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.

Best Month: April (6gp, 0 pts, -1)

Career Highlights: Vernace made his NHL debut this season. He is still looking for his first NHL point.

Report: Of the 17,431 players who made their NHL debut for the Avalanche last year, three showed signs of being ready (or almost-ready) for the big show. Vernace would be one of those players (ironically, we're covering all three in consecutive days this week).

12 games isn't a lot to go on, but Vernace seemed remarkably poised in his own end. He wasn't afraid to use his 6'2"-200lb frame as his 1.67 hits per game was tops among Avalanche defensemen. He also seemed to have a knack to calmly diffuse trouble by making a simple play to get the puck out of the danger zone. Perhaps the steady play won't hold up under the pressures of an 82-game season, but he seems to have definitely earned another look.

Offensively, Vernace didn't show much with no points and just 9 shots. I don't believe he's projected to have much impact offensively. He did have a 72-point season in the OHL...but that year he was dishing off to a stud muffin forward named Wojtek Wolski.

Fun Fact: Trading for Vernace was Francois Giguere's first official transaction as GM. Drafting tomorrow's contestant was his second.

The Michael Vernace Drinking Game:  Drink when Vernace hits someone  Drunk potential: Fair, but rising.

What I Said Last Year: N/A

2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $495K ($487K)

2009-2010 Status: RFA (Due a minimum QO of $544,500)

Outlook for 2009: Vernace averaged 19 minutes a game in his short call-up this spring and played well. At the very least, I would expect that Vernace has a shot at making the roster in the fall as a 7th defenseman and it's possible that he could be counted on for an even bigger role if the Avalanche move a couple of the stiffs er, veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. That's not to say he's guaranteed to excel, but I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses.



Next Up: Chris Stewart


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