LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Stephen Silas, drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Avalanche, poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Although there has been no formal announcement, it appears that the Avalanche have given up the rights to defensemen Stephan Silas and Troy Rutkowski. Both players were junior players drafted in the 2010 NHL draft, and teams had until 5pm eastern on Friday to sign them. Although there were a handful of last-day signings - including Rutkowski's WHL teammate Ty Rattie - neither of the Avs' prospects names were on the list of deals. Both players will re-enter this year's draft and will become free agents if not drafted.
Silas, a 6'0, 205lber, just finished his 4th season with the Belleville Bulls. When he was drafted in 2010, he was coming off a 49-point season. Since then, he has slipped a bit, scoring 39 and 32 points respectively. In tangential news, on of Silas' teammates on the Bulls is Brendan Gaunce, projected to be a 1st round pick this summer. He is the very, very serious younger brother of Cameron Gaunce.
Rutkowski - 6'2, 195 lbs - was a 5th rounder for the Avs in 2010. He's scored 40 points in each of the last three seasons for the Portland Winterhawks, a team that just went to the WHL finals for the 2nd straight year.
There's no word on why the players weren't signed, but I don't believe roster considerations were an issue; the Avs currently have just 5 guys signed who would seem to be potential Monsters - Stefan Elliott, Tyson Barrie, Duncan Siemens, Joel Chouinard and Gaunce. At any rate, the Avs are moving on. Quietly, as always.
Per AvalancheDB, the guys next due to be signed are the 4 remaining unsigned players from the 2011 draft (Siemens and Landeskog are already signed). Gerret Muers, Dillon Donnelly, Joachim Nermark and Gabriel Beaupre all need to be signed by next June.