Preseason Power Rankings Roundup

Doug Pensinger

What's the word concerning the Colorado Avalanche around the web? Our weekly collection (with a scoop of The Denver Post's Adrian Dater) will fill you in and then some.

This week: Ryan O'Reilly this, Ryan O'Reilly that. And other than Factor, Semyon Varlamov seems to be the consensus X-factor.

Outlet Rank Last Week What They're Saying
22 - There were an increasing number of reasons to get excited about what the Avs can do this season and then Ryan O'Reilly headed to the KHL and still doesn't have a contract. The potential of a Gabriel Landeskog-Matt Duchene-P.A. Parenteau line is great.
15 - If the Avs resolve the Ryan O'Reilly contract issue ASAP, they could be poised to sneak into the playoffs. Semyon Varlamov needs another strong season to prove his durability and status as No. 1 goaltending material.
20 - The young forwards' continued development and Gabriel Landeskog's role as the youngest captain in league history will be interesting to watch in Colorado. This team certainly has the pieces to contend for a playoff spot. Uhh, is Ryan O'Reilly going to sign anytime soon?
- - -
13 - Most of the talk about a young, talented team with a chance to make a playoff push this season revolves around the Edmonton Oilers, but the Avalanche might be next up to crack into the playoffs. They just missed last season, and goaltender Semyon Varlamov was sensational in the KHL this season (for whatever that's worth). They need to get Ryan O'Reilly signed, and Erik Johnson must play like a No. 1 defenseman in order to reach the postseason.
15 -
A late-season collapse denied them a playoff berth, and plenty of question marks remain with this team --- one of them being, "Will they sign Ryan O'Reilly in time for opening night?" But some good young talent remains up front, most especially NHL rookie of the year and new captain Gabriel Landeskog. If they can get good years from defender Erik Johnson and goalie Semyon Varlamov, a playoff spot should be in the works.
25 - Need to get RFA C Ryan O'Reilly signed and could use a bounceback year from C Matt Duchene, but the Avs have talent up front, bolstered by the signing of RW P.A. Parenteau and anchored by 20-year-old captain Gabriel Landeskog. The defense presents question marks, however, so the Avs need G Semyon Varlamov to build on the strong season he's been having in the KHL if they are going to compete for a playoff spot.

Click on logos for links to full power rankings.

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