Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Even with a healthy roster, the Avs have a gaping hole on their blueline. Who might they target?
Trying to predict Avalanche trades in the Sherman era is next to impossible. He's a big fan of picking up hidden gems that have become buried on their team's depth chart - players that the average fan has never even heard of before - and doing so in large, bold moves. However, it is glaringly obvious that even with a healthy team, the Avs need help at defense. With the O'Reilly situation likely to end in a trade, now is as good a time as any to think about a blueline upgrade.
So who might we target? While an in-his-prime (26-32ish) defenseman would probably be ideal, the price tag on someone that age who's capable of playing 20+ minutes a night is most likely out of our range. That leaves two options: older and younger. Given the Avs' core's young average age, the fact the team is still rebuilding, and Sherman's recent trade history, I think our most likely bet is picking up a young player.
I did some poking around on various team's rosters to see what I could find. These are some of the defensemen under the age of 26 that I felt could be serviceable #2Ds for the Avs moving forward. So, MHH, what do you think? Who should we go after, and is there someone I'm forgetting?
DISCLAIMER: I've omitted from this list any players that I strongly felt the team would never let go, such as Victor Hedman from TBL, Kris Letang from PIT, Karl Alzner from WSH, Erik Karlsson from OTT, Drew Doughty (Brad Doty lol) from LAK, and Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk from STL. There are also names on here that we probably still have no realistic chance at, like Cam Fowler. It's also entirely possible that the Avs don't end up with any of these players, but if I learn something about the young defenseman from around the league, I'll still consider this post a success.
The columns are also sortable. Red = Left handed shot, Tan = Right handed shot.