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Dissecting the Matt Duchene Trade from a Colorado Avalanche perspective

How well did Joe Sakic do with this Matt Duchene trade?

NHL: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

So the rumored three-team Matt Duchene trade between the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and Ottawa Senators that we heard about on Friday wasn’t dead after all. Sunday evening, Duchene was pulled in the middle of Colorado’s game in Brooklyn just before the hockey world was rocked by the kind of blockbuster trade you normally only see in a video game.

Duchene will now get on a plane and make the trip to Stockholm, Sweden that he was planning - though he won’t be doing it as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Duchene’s first game as an Ottawa Senator will take place Friday afternoon against the Avs, in a setting that will look very odd for a few different reasons.

Here is how the final trade looked:

To Ottawa: Matt Duchene

To Nashville: Kyle Turris

To Colorado: Samuel Girard, Shane Bowers, Vladislav Kamenev, Andrew Hammond, a 1st(OTT), a 2nd(NSH) and a 3rd(OTT)

Everyone knows what Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris bring to their new teams. Duchene is a high-end offensive forward that is still one of the fastest players in the NHL and Turris is an under-rated two-way presence that will slot in as a top-flight 2C.

The picks are the picks. The first rounder from Ottawa is a nice asset to have. The Avs will receive the pick in the 2018 draft unless it falls in the top-10. In that case, the Senators have the right to differ it until 2019 - at which time it is not lottery protected.

What we are interested in is the package of players the Avalanche got in return for Duchene.

Andrew Hammond - G - $1.35m

Let’s get this one out of the way. Hammond is nothing more than a salary dump for the Sens that will be around in case either Varlamov or Bernier get injured. The 29-year old had that one great run a few seasons ago when he was able to drag the Senators into the playoffs. Since then he has been nothing but a depth guy. He’s spent this year in the AHL and will likely stay there until his contract expires this summer.

Vladislav Kamenev - C/LW - 6’2”, 200lbs - 42nd overall in 2014

A 21-year old forward that was drafted 42nd overall by the Nashville Predators, Kamenev is a big kid that has great hands. He is a very good possession player thanks to his ability to use his large frame to protect the puck. He was the captain of Russia’s 2016 Wolrd Junior team and has turned into a very productive AHL point producer.

Kamenev was recalled by Nashville before the trade, so there’s a chance he actually gets some ice time with the Avs while Jost and Compher continue to recover from injuries.

Kamenev is a talented forward with good sized who uses his physical gifts to protect the puck and win board battles. He sees the ice well, has good hands and a strong shot. Has to keep his emotions in check as he can get overzealous taking stupid penalties at times.” -

Here is Kamenev undressing Mason Geertsen last season.

Expected arrival: later this season

Shane Bowers - C - 6’2”, 185lbs - 28th overall in 2017

When the Ottawa Senators selected Shane Bowers at the end of the first round this past summer, it was seen as a ‘safe’ pick. He is a very strong two-way center that will likely top out as a middle-6 forward in the NHL.

Bowers plays a style of game that is very similar to Tyson Jost - just not as explosive offensively.

“As one scout told me: ‘There’s nothing fancy, but there’s a lot to like.’ Bowers plays a 200-foot game and is good on draws. A north-south player who isn’t shy out there.” – Jeff Marek, Sportsnet

Playing his first season at Boston University, Bowers has 4 goals and 2 assists through his first 10 NCAA games. He is making an impact that you only see from high-end freshmen and will only expand his role with the Terriers as the season goes on. Expect Bowers to spend at least two full seasons at BU while he develops and adds the strength necessary to play in the NHL.

Back in 2013 when Bowers was just a hot-shot QMJHL prospect he was making the rounds and ran into this guy. Look familiar?


A post shared by Shane Bowers (@shanebowerss) on

Expected arrival: 2019-20 season

Samuel Girard - LD - 5’10”, 165lbs - Selected 47th overall in 2016

Girard is definitely the crown jewel of this trade from Colorado’s perspective. Whenever Ottawa was brought up as a potential trade partner for the Avs, Thomas Chabot was the name most fans were focused on. Call me crazy but I think Girard is every bit as valuable a prospect as Chabot. If that’s not enough, I’ll go as far as to say that Girard might actually be the team’s best prospect - yes better than Cale Makar.

The lucky part is that the Avalanche don’t have to choose. They now have two high-end bluechip 1998-born defensive prospects - one to play each side.

Girard is an exceptional skater that has elite vision and hockey IQ. He protects the puck well and has great hands for a defenceman. He’s got a very good chance of becoming a top-pairing puck mover in the NHL. Girard’s coach in Shawinigan, Claude Bouchard, noted:

“He’s offensively better than [Kris] Letang was at his age.”

But he’s small and that will scare some fans. Ryan Ellis has spent the past few seasons in Nashville showing us that if you have enough skill, your size won’t hold you back. Samuel Girard has more than enough skill.

“A flashy offensive defenceman that takes advantage of opportunities and is always looking to make an impact each shift. Works very hard and isn't afraid to play the body. Skates with exceptional exuberance and fluidity. Accurate release on his shot and a good eye for open passing lanes. Proactive defensively and puts the pressure on the opposition. Needs to have a more active stick and a more felt presence in shooting lanes, but he has shown a willingness to learn, and these skills will develop." -

Thanks to injuries in Nashville - and the fact that he’s just too damn good for junior hockey - Girard has been up in the NHL as a 19-year old. We are not yet sure what the Avalanche plan to do with him, but given where they are this season, we might see him play a few games this month before he is sent to Canada’s World Junior camp in December.

Expected arrival: He’ll be a full-time NHLer next season.