Dennis Everberg surprised everyone last year making the Opening Night roster after signing as a free agent from Europe. This year, he's the final roster cut before the Avalanche begin the season against Minnesota on Thursday. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post cites injuries being a contributing factor to this decision, but service time was also likely considered. With just five professional games left before no longer being waiver-exempt, Colorado management likely felt Everberg would be better as a midseason call-up rather than being handcuffed early in the season.
The immediate beneficiary of this move is Croatian, Borna Rendulic, who received a bit of playing time with the team last year (becoming the first player from his country to do so). The 6'2" 200 pound forward is still a raw prospect and will not likely dress most game days in the early going; but unlike Everberg, Rendulic can still be sent to the minors with relative ease.
Also newsworthy is the official inclusion of 2015 1st Round Draft Pick, Mikko Rantanen, who has impressed coaches with his mature and tenacious play. The Finnish prospect will become the fifth 18-year old to make the team out of camp in franchise history along with Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon. Where he falls on coach Patrick Roy's lineup remains to be seen, but it's all but guaranteed he will be playing in the Top-9 until further notice.
At Tuesday morning's practice, the lines and defensive pairings where what appears below. Roy stated these would reflect the Opening Night roster. That means trade acquisition Mikhail Grigorenko will begin the year in the stands. Which defensive pairing sits with him is yet to be determined.
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