When the season started, it's unlikely splashy deadline deals were on the minds of most Avalanche fans. For one, many doubted their ability to compete; and two, the organization wasn't exactly in a great position to deal young player assets. So, when the Avs shipped off for Alex Tanguay, and the rights to Conner Bleackley and Kyle Wood, on February 29th to the Arizona Coyotes for Mikkel Boedker, it was a bit of a surprise to those who closely follow the team.
Boedker, a 28-year-old former 8th overall draft pick from Denmark, was a highly talented, if underachieving, contributor for the Coyotes. He scored just 0.48 points-per-game during his tenure and amassed almost silly negative goal and shot differentials. But his skating and playmaking ability ranked up with some of the very best in the league and it was apparent why Joe Sakic was interested in pairing him with Nathan MacKinnon down the home stretch.
MHH Survey Grade: 75.3%
In 18 games, Boedker put up 12 points -- a 55-point pace -- a scoring rate better than any of his seasons in Arizona. He also had a relative Plus-0.95 5-on-5 shot differential during this stretch, which was also better than his possession numbers with his previous club. One could interpret this two way: Boedker was a better player during his time with the Avalanche or he was simply more effective than the rest of Colorado's notoriously poor possession output.
My money says it was a little bit of both. Boedker did look good playing with the more skilled talent on the Avalanche, but defense is most certainly not his game. Perhaps some of his ineffectiveness can be chalked up to coming to a new team and having to learn a new "system" (we use this term loosely around here), but he was also never very good playing for the highly-respected Dave Tippet either. It's not likely the fit of the "system" was at fault.
MHH Staff Grade: C
It's hard not to like Boedker's upside with the current Avalanche group. Unfortunately, he's an unrestricted free agent and apparently wanted six million dollars a year to re-sign with the Coyotes. If that's his price, then it is certain he won't be returning to Colorado next season. Thanks for your service, my man, but the team is going to go in a different direction.
***Note: Boedker was one of four player in the survey to not receive an 'F' vote