Colorado has experienced some challenges with its forward depth this season. Losing Alex Tanguay to injury -- and realizing young players Mikko Rantanen and Borna Rendulic weren't quite ready for prime time -- put a big damper on Patrick Roy's preseason plans. With Gabriel Landeskog currently out for a couple of games due to suspension, the Avs had no reserve forwards on the roster for the remaining four games of their road trip. Today they claimed 24-year old center Chris Wagner from the Anaheim Ducks, a 2010 5th Round draft pick, to alleviate this problem.
COL claims Wagner from ANA— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 15, 2015
Wagner, who has spent most of the past three seasons with the AHL's Norfolk Admirals, has played in eleven games for the Ducks this season, totaling zero points. Last year with Norfolk, he scored 15 and tallied 13 assists in 48 games. We'll see how he fits with the Avalanche in the coming months, but my suspicion is that he will be the 13th forward for a few games while he gets acclimated.
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I reached out to Eric The Hawk over at sister site Anaheim Calling. He had this to say:
Chris Wagner is a player that many Ducks fans are upset to see the team losing via waivers. He projects as a solid lower line player; good speed, fearless in engaging in smart physicality, improved face off ability, and decent ability to turn play and generate shots. He is a value at his current price tag, and does enough things well to be a consistent positive contributor while likely not becoming overly expensive.Anaheim re-signed him to a one year deal in the offseason after he filled in nicely as a lower line center last year down the stretch and in the playoffs when Nate Thompson was injured. Wagner was amongst the leading scorers in offensively-challenged Norfolk during two of three years mainly spent in the AHL from 12-13 to 14-15.