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Young Guns Looking To Propel Avalanche For Next Season

After one of the worst seasons in the NHL, the Avalanche do have reason for optimism as their upcoming “young guns” are giving the team and their fans a reason to look forward to next season.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche are no doubt in a rebuild phase, but after these past few games there is one common theme that Avalanche fans should be excited for when it comes to next season.

The young guns are making this team finally look dangerous in the offensive zone again, and for the Avs that is a very good thing. The last time we saw the Avs have a an exciting, and dangerous offense was back in the 2013-14 season where the Avs won the Central division title.

Here are a few of the young players on the Avs who have already made a lasting impression during their time with the team;

Tyson Jost

One of the most prolific additions to the team that we have had was the signing of Tyson Jost, who happened to get his first goal of his NHL career last night against the hated Minnesota Wild (and it was a beauty).

After being unable to capture a national championship with the University of North Dakota, Jost made the decision to make the jump to the Colorado Avalanche. In his first game against the Blues on March 31st, he was slowly able to get a grip of his game after each period.

Ever since his debut against the Blues, Jost has been progressing well and has looked to be getting into his groove. We are seeing him be able to utilize his style of play that we saw him play with his during his time with the Fighting Hawks, as well as Team Canada during the World Juniors.

Sven Andrighetto

Another one of these young players who has been making an impact in his short time with the team, has been Sven Andrighetto. Andrighetto was acquired in a trade at trade deadline in which the Avs send Andreas Martinsen to the Montreal Canadians. At first many Avs fans were upset with this trade, but Andrighetto has been on a consistent tear ever since coming to the team.

In 17 games with the Avs, Andrighetto has combined for 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists). Over the past 5 games, he has only gone pointless in two games (Chicago & St. Louis) and has combined for 4 points in the past fives games.

At this moment, the 24-year-old is eligible for the NHL expansion draft and could be picked off by the newly expanded Las Vegas Golden Knights. Let us hope that the Avs will be able to protect him, as he will be able to benefit the team enormously next season.

Rocco Grimaldi

Another one of the impressive additions has been Rocco Grimaldi, the small speedster who even though he lacks a huge frame, he makes up for with quickness and resilience.

During his time with the Rampage this season, Grimaldi led the Rampage with a total of 51 points (29 goals, 22 assists) in 68 games played. The only other player to come close to him in points for the Rampage was AJ Greer, who has had 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 63 games played.

Although in these last few games his point production is not staggering, he has made this Avs squad a faster, aggressive, and more unpredictable squad every time his line is on the ice. Keeping someone like Grimaldi would be beneficial next season to make the team faster, and more skilled in comparison to the strong Blues-like roster that has been developed over the last few years.

Anton Lindholm

Lindholm has only been up with the Avs for a short time, playing in a total of eleven games after being called up to the NHL squad to make his debut against the Detroit Red Wings on March 15th.

During his span with the Avs, he has been one of the quieter players on the ice but he has been able to make some impact in the Avs own zone. Lindholm loves to play a style that allows him to get some large hits off, but he also knows where he wants to put the puck right away. It will be interesting to see where he fits into the lineup once Zadarov comes back next season, and what additions may come during the offseason.

J.T. Compher

After being called up from the Rampage on March 2nd, Compher has been on a mission to try to prove himself to Bednar that he belongs with the Colorado Avalanche. With each game after his debut, he showed that he could bring a speedy, gritty style of play to the Avs. It took him until March 15th against the Red Wings to get his first assist, but ever since that game he has looked like a player who can stick with the team full-time next season.

Compher has also found a home on a line centering Matt Duchene, and Matthew Nieto. He has also been able to be given some special teams responsibilities for the team as he is a part of the first powerplay unit that is comprised of himself, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Jost, Sven Andrighetto, and Tyson Barrie.

Mark Barberio

Barberio has definitely been a bright spot on this Avs squad ever since he made his arrival after being picked up off of the waiver wire by Joe Sakic. Since joining the team, Barberio has been one of the Avs best defenseman, by showing his composure in the defensive zone, while also being able to make beautiful outlook passes to spring forwards like Duchene, Rantanen, and MacKinnon. Not to mention that he also has a nice shot from the point.

It will depend on what moves are made during the offseason, but in the eyes of many fans Barberio’s spot for next season is practically all locked up.

Some other players to look forward to for next season

(*- Not confirmed, have to keep an eye on)

Will Butcher(*)

This is where things start to get a little bit complicated ( as well as nerve wrecking). Butcher is about finish up his time with the Denver Pioneers as he has led the Pioneers to NCAA Championship against the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Butcher has had a fantastic senior season, and winning the Hobey Baker Award was proof of that. He hopes to end his entire collegiate career with an NCAA championship under his belt.

The Avs drafted Butcher back during the 2013 NHL Entry Draft with the 123rd overall pick in the 5th round. Last season, the Avs front office informed Butcher’s agent that the team would not be signing him, however that was during the time that Patrick Roy was in charge of the team.

Now that Roy is gone, the Avs have been to multiple games of his to scout him, and they are hoping to be able to sign him to an ELC before August 15th— or else Butcher will become a free agent in the NHL market, and then any team could pick him up.

Andrei Mironov(*)

The speculation just continues to rise about Mironov coming stateside and joining the Colorado Avalanche for the upcoming season. Ryan Murphy reported earlier in the season about Mironov signing on with a North American agent, giving a few more hints that he could possibly be looking to break into the scene of the NHL.

This past season, Mironov and Dynamo Moscow would make it to the 2nd round of the KHL Playoffs where they would eventually fall in five games to CSKA Moscow.

If Mironov does decide to sign with the Avs during the Summer, it should make Avs fans feel a little bit better about the teams overall defensive corp heading into next season. Mironov plays a hard-hitting style, and if you have not seen some of the hits that this kid can deliver, look his name up in Youtube right now.