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Morning Flurries: Timmins, Smirnov, and the Avalanche of prospect news

Conor Timmins could make Team Canada, while Denis Smirnov has a great week after missing time for illness

NHL: Preseason-Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have been given a brutal schedule through December, playing nearly every other day of the final month of 2017.

With Wednesday as an off day, though, the team had no post-game news or major events to report. Luckily, some prospects more than made up for what would have been a slow news day with some exciting moments of their own.

In the OHL, there’s no guarantee - but Soo defenseman Conor Timmins, drafted in the second round this summer by Colorado, could be on the short list for Team Canada at the fast-approaching 2018 World Junior Championships. [Mile High Hockey]

The team got some good news from the NCAA, as well. After missing a chunk of time for illness, Avalanche prospect Denis Smirnov has been on fire in his return to the lineup for Penn State.

He’s up to a whopping nine goals and 17 points on the year, despite having played in just 12 games; for reference, that means he’s just one point out of second in scoring despite holding eight games in hand on the season thus far. That performance has earned him NCAA Player of the Week honors for this past week. [MHH]

In some additional college news, DU picked up a new prospect commitment this week, adding USHL goaltender Filip Larsson to their list of future players. [MHH]

In terms of the pro team, some unsurprising news; the club has reassigned defenseman Duncan Siemens to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage after his most recent call-up. The 2011 first round pick, taken with the team’s second selection in that round (11th overall, after Gabriel Landeskog was taken second overall), has managed to draw into just one game with the Avalanche so far this year. [MHH]

Speaking of the Rampage... peep these:

Also, ICYMI, we need to make sure this story about Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette raising their Clarkson Cup banner with their daughter Liv gets in front of as many eyeballs as possible. [Habs Eye On The Prize]

I mean, look at this:

The pair, both former Olympic team captains (Chu for Team USA, Ouellette for Team Canada) and now CWHL teammates, wanted to make sure their daughter Liv Ouellette-Chu shared the special banner-raising moment with them, as Ouellette was pregnant with her when the team won their most recent championship.

Yes, that feeling in your chest IS your heart growing three times its size.

We hate to follow that up with some heartbreak, but it’s worth diving into this long read on former NHL enforcer Matt Johnson. It’s devastating, but eye-opening. [TSN]

Finally, to end on a (personal) high note, here’s a picture of my daughter and I celebrating our 5K finish last night. We got to run and see all the Christmas lights, and still finished in the top quarter of racers as a dynamic duo.

I know none of you care, but we had a lot of fun and now I’m sharing our delight with you. Happy Holidays!