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Colorado Avalanche add defensive depth with Jesse Graham

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The former Isles draft pick is now with the Avs for at least one season.

CHL Images

Yesterday afternoon, TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie tweeted that the Avalanche signed a contract with former New York Islanders draft pick Jesse Graham.

Graham has been in the Islanders organisation since he was drafted 155th overall in 2012, spending the 14/15-16/17 seasons with both the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers and ECHL Missouri Mavericks.

SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM POST GP G A TP PIM
SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM POST GP G A TP PIM
2013-14 Niagara IceDogs OHL 24 6 11 17 21
Saginaw Spirit OHL 42 5 32 37 22 Playoffs 5 0 3 3 2
Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 7 1 3 4 2
2014-15 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 39 3 16 19 20
Florida Everblades ECHL 23 1 13 14 10 Playoffs 12 1 5 6 4
2015-16 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 52 5 12 17 34
Missouri Mavericks ECHL 11 0 9 9 2 Playoffs 9 0 5 5 14
2016-17 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 19 2 7 9 6
Missouri Mavericks ECHL 24 6 19 25 26
eliteprospects.com

My days with Graham ended when he left the IceDogs in a trade to the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, but when he was with Niagara he was one of our top defenders, just behind Dougie Hamilton, and was loved and respected by fans, media, and his teammates. In the ECHL he seems like he was a top defender points wise and in the AHL he was just as reliable, if not as productive on the score sheet.

Lighthouse Hockey covered him in their Top 25 under 25 series last year, where he ranked #25 - impressive for a player shuffling between the AHL and ECHL.

They wrote:

Jesse Graham seems quite similar to Adam Pelech in terms of style of play, though with better puck moving ability and the benefit of being right handed. Unfortunately for him, he's undersized so while he outperformed Pelech, Graham got demoted to the ECHL. - Les


In the AHL, Graham has demonstrated the ability to skate at the pro-level, and that he can somewhat contribute offensively; however, Graham is small by NHL standards (5'11, 175 pounds). His game tends to be all offense.

If Graham is ever to pan out at the NHL level, he'll need to bulk up and improve his defense considerably. At this stage, he is a long shot. - David King

For the Avalanche, Graham is defensive depth, especially on the coveted right side. He’ll most likely start the season in San Antonio, where he’ll hopefully spend an entire season in just one league.

It’s a good move by the Avalanche, cheap offensive D is never a bad thing, and I’m always in favour of signing former IceDogs.