The Colorado Avalanche will enjoy their Christmas break for one more day, but that doesn’t mean Avs fans won’t have some hockey to watch today. This afternoon, we get to watch Colorado’s first two picks from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft play on the same team for the first time.
Cale Makar and Conor Timmins will be suiting up for Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship today at 2pm MST. If Dante Fabbro missed the game - he’s been battling an injury - the Avs prospects will fill the two right-handed positions in Canada’s top-4 .defensemen
During the pre-tournament games, Makar has played alongside Kale Clague, creating the most incredible of situations - a Kale/Cale top defensive pair for Canada. Makar will act as a puck-moving catalyst with Canada’s top offensive unit. Playing with Calgary will allow Makar play a riskier style and take full advantage of his elite skating and puck-moving talents. He should see a ton of powerplay time as well.
Timmins has been skating with former London Knights defender Victor Mete, who surprised many this season by making an early jump to the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens. Timmins played his way into this position by having another incredible season with the top-ranked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The 32nd overall pick currently sits second in the OHL in primary points by a defenseman - 5th in total points.
Though Timmins is himself a high-end puck mover and point producer in junior, he won’t be relied upon to fill the scoresheet for Canada. Timmins will likely be a safety net for the free-moving Mete and we will likely see him log a bunch of PK minutes.
2017-18 Season Statistics
If Canada is going to have any success, both Makar and Timmins are going to have to have a major impact on the team.
The same holds true for the Avalanche. If this franchise is going to build itself into a contender anytime soon, these two 19-year old defenders - along with Sam Girard - are going to be incredibly important. The three young defensemen have the potential to build one heck of a blueline over the next decade.
We’re still likely a couple years away from seeing Timmins and Makar make an impact together in Denver. Luckily, over the next two weeks, we get a sneak peek.
The games will be on the NHL Network in the US and TSN in Canada.