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)
- 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
Who was the best Ontario native to suite up for the Avalanche in 2008-2009
Chris Durno (2 votes)
Adam Foote (22 votes)
David Jones (13 votes)
Aaron MacKenzie (0 votes)
Cody McCormick (5 votes)
Wes O'Neill (2 votes)
Andrew Raycroft (2 votes)
Chris Stewart (53 votes)
Brian Willsie (4 votes)
Michael Vernace (6 votes)
109 total votes