Question #8 of the Avalanche Blogger Roundtable has arrived. Only one more to go!
Question 1: Avalanche attendance woes
Question 2: Avalanche toughness
Question 3: Craig Anderson, workhorse
Question 4: Improvement on defense
Question 5: Offensive defenseman
Question 6: Matt Duchene
Question 7: Super sophomores
Last year, a number of young Avalanche players had breakout years. Which Avalanche player or prospect do you think is most ready to have a big year in the NHL?
Terry Frei, Denver Post: Jonas Holos. I might even try my college Norwegian on him.
Pavol Hercko, Eurolanche: In my opinion Matt Duchene had a breakout year and also can make a "big boom" this season. Chris Stewart is ready, to have a big year in the NHL, that's for sure. Probably also TJ Galiardi could have a great season
Marc Parsons, Hendricks Hockey: Again I'm going to say a healthy Jones. He played 23 games last year and tallied 10 goals and 6 Assists. Just imagine what he could do with a whole year under his belt. Again though, my second choice would be Peter Mueller. 15 games with 20 points is impressive. Let's hope this young Avs team keeps him motivated to play with heart.
Aaron "Avalangelist" Musick, Hockeybuzz: Kyle Quincey is primed for a big year. He struggled second half of last year but he's ready for the big show and I think fans will really like him. On the forward side, I think Ryan O'Reilly has a 20-20 year for a breakout year.
Grant Beery, Hockeyism: Can David Jones stay healthy? If he can, my pick is Jones. He's due, right?
David Driscoll-Carignan, Mile High Hockey: I think T.J. Galiardi really showed what he is capable of in the playoffs - a player that can put points on the board while irritating the other team. He could be due for a big, big year.
Derek Bell, Mile High Hockey: Of all the young players on the Avs, I'm going to look for Jonas Holos to have a breakout year this year. I think that the Peter Mueller injury is going to open up that right point for him to step in and let that big shot of his fly.
Mike Thompson, Mile High Hockey: David Jones. He was in Kool-Aid Man mode last season before the freak accident derailed the gravy train. No reason not to expect it again.
Paul's Coffey, Mile High Hockey: Speaking strictly of prospects: I hope both Holos and Shattenkirk get a good chunk of NHL games under their belts. They both will need some ripening, and neither look like Calder finalists, but both should stick in the NHL this year or next.
Matt Jordan, Mile High Mayhem: Kevin Shattenkirk. Shatty will find his way to the second power play pairing, and if Quincey falters, or we get a cracker package for JML, he'll move up.
From The Point, Real Denver Sports: O'Reilly. He has the unique situation similar to what Drury had. He's got two great lines in front of him (and he can't be on a line with Svats anymore) so that is going to put stress on the teams with weak defensive depth.
Stephen Crociata, Patrick Kane's Loose Change: As mentioned in the last question my breakout player from this years team is Ryan O'Reilly, but I have another who is 10 years senior the Avs rising stars. I'm going out on a limb and I believe not only will we see the first Avs defenseman to score 40 points since 2006-2007, but that we will see J-M Liles crack 50 for the first time in his career (13 and 39).
Mike Verminski, Put It On Ice and The Hockey Writers: I'm looking for Yip and O'Reilly to have a great year. Both did decent last season, but O'Reilly was in a slump for a long ass time and Yip was out for a bit with his shoulder injury. If both stay healthy and play all 82 games I'd say it is very possible they can both put up around 35 and 45 points respectively.
Adam Hersh, An Avalanche of Thoughts: David Jones, no question. He was on fire before going down last year, and after seeing him score two goals tonight at Frozen Fury, he's undoubtedly my new man-crush on the team.
Sean Payton, Anyone But Detroit:
- My definition of a "big year in the NHL" is either 50+ goal or a 100+ point season.
- No Av is capable of a 50 goal season in 2010 - 11, but I can envision a scenario where Stastny (who had 79 pts last year) gets to 100 pts.
- Stewart would have to continue to progress offensively, Hejduk and Jones would have to stay healthy and the Avs would have to trade for talented winger at the deadline, who ended up primarily playing with Stastny to push him over the 100 pts hump.
- I wouldn't put a lot of money on it.
Angélique Murray, Avs Prospects, Mile High Hockey and Chicks Who Give A Puck: I have a strong feeling that TJ Galiardi will become a well known name in this league by the time the season ends. He may have been the most impressive Av in their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. Tough...gritty...but very skilled and I think those skills will take a jump this season.
Shane Giroux, Avs Talk: T.J. Galiardi is going to show himself to be one of the best grit & goals players in the NHL. He's going to nail down 45+ points and become an on-ice leader and inspiration for this team. Out of all the players last year, he's the one I connected with the most and I don't think I'm in the minority.
Andy Robbins, Avs Weekly: Brandon Yip is just chomping at the bit to be an established NHL player. Yip will have a stellar year, having an opportunity to play an entire 82-game season for the first time in his young career. Yip made an immediate impact last year, recording 19 points in 32 games, followed up by a productive postseason, logging 2 goals and 2 assists in 6 games vs. the San Jose Sharks. Yip skates, Yip hits, Yip shoots, Yip forechecks, Yip backchecks, Yip puts biscuits in the basket. Avs fans around the world should highly anticipate the chance to observe this young man trigger some serious damage.
Geoff, The Avslova Factor: It's Ryan Stoa's time to explode. He wrecked the AHL when he was playing with Lake Erie, and now it is time for him to make himself known to the NHL. The injury to Peter Mueller should have Stoa jumping because it could be his way into the Top 9.
Matt Powell, The Burgundy Blog: This one I'm going to give to Brandon Yip. Since he was called up from Lake Erie he solidified a spot on the team and became a fan favorite very quickly. He's great offensively and not afraid to hit another player with everything he's got. No lies, it'll probably be a Yip jersey to hang in my closet next.
Ryan Boulding, The Burgundy Blog: Again, I think Kyle Quincey is on the cusp of stepping up into another level and he'll be someone to watch this season. Also, I think Jonas Holos is going to show the team what he is made of. The kid grew up playing hockey in Norway, which is the bastard child of Scandanavian hockey as they just don't play it there like they do in Finland and Sweden. Eventually making the jump to Sweden, he had a great year, leading the defensemen in points and he made it to the Olympics last year, where he played decent, considering the team. He thinks about his passes and plays with a cool head.
Courtney Beckham, Chicks Who Give A Puck: Even though he had a pretty dang good year last year I think Yip is going to have an even better year this year. I think he has the potential to really let fellow NHL teams know who he is. His style of play is definitely in your face, almost annoying gnat like. Fans of other teams that do recognize him have nothing good to say, which is a great thing.
Hearing Wings fans complain that every time Yip would play he'd get one to two goals against a team with solid offense, defense and goaltending is impressive any which way you cut it. His injury prevented him from doing as much damage as I would have liked to see him do last year, but he's definitely someone I anticipate bringing energy and goals to his line and our squad even more so than last year.
I think I'm going to skip the poll for this one, because there's too many options. Of course, there's plenty of room below to enter your own write-in candidate.