We all know the results of the NHL rookie tournaments don’t really mean anything. These games are for evaluating the prospects in the system and giving a tryout to a few who might have fallen through the cracks. That said, it’s never fun to lose - especially when it means your team finishes 0-3.
This afternoon, the Avs rookies dropped a 5-3 decision to the Ducks in a game where they only trailed for a grand total of 17.8 seconds.
The Avalanche jumped out to an early lead when A.J. Greer - who is certainly showing he wants to spend the whole season in the NHL - scored early in the first. Later, Brady Shaw made it 2-1 and J.T. Compher made it 3-2 as the Avs had a quick answer every time the Ducks would tie it up.
After Anaheim finally tied it up at 3 early in the third period, things were rather uneventful until Deven Sideroff put the Ducks ahead with just under 18 seconds remaining. they would add an empty-netter to clinch a 5-3 victory and sweep the Rookie Showcase.
Who looked good
Tyson Jost was on another level every time he stepped on the ice during this tournament. He is absolutely ready for the next step and was just using these games as a warm up for the main camp. He’s a lock to be in the NHL all season and proved why here.
Aside from Jost, A.J. Greer and J.T. Compher were once again the best players on the ice. They both look determined to show the Avs coaching staff that they belong in the NHL, and if they keep up this play through the preseason, it’s going to be hard to send either one back to San Antonio. It might be hard for the coaching staff to swallow - and probably far fetched - but a rookie line of Greer-Jost-Compher would be something very exciting for Avs fans to watch.
The college free agents also looked pretty good in this game. Alex Kerfoot was great on the forecheck and is looking a lot more comfortable every time we see him, while Dominic Toninato served very well in the defensive center role.
On the back-end, Nicolas Meloche was once again the Avs’ best defenseman. He’s been outplaying all of his peers and although it’s a longshot, he’s proving why he’s a darkhorse to start the season in the NHL.
Who didn’t look good
Spencer Martin looked shaky between the pipes again for the Avalanche. He made some decent saves but wasn’t tracking the puck well - something that has always been his weakness. He’s going to be the starter for the Rampage this season, but he’s going to have to put this rough tournament behind him if he’s going to hope to prove to the front office that he’s got a future in the NHL.
Sergei Boikov had a rough game. He made some bad positional decisions and needs to be more confident in his pitching. He hasn't been great the whole tournament and could very well be one of the first cuts back to the Rampage.
There are a lot of prospects on the Ducks side that are worth getting excited about - particularly Josh Mahura and Sam Steel - but the one that was most impressive was Olle Eriksson-Ek in net. The 5th round pick this past June, Eriksson-Ek was very good today and while he is still very raw, he definitely has the potential to go a long way. For an organization that can afford to be patient with their goalie prospects, with the proper development, it appears they have a good one in Eriksson-Ek.
Back in Denver, main training camp opens up on Thursday with physical testing and the team will hit the ice for real on Friday. Fans will get their first chance to see everyone in game action at the Burgundy & White game on Sunday afternoon.
Off the ice, it seems as though we might hear about Nikita Zadorov soon as the young blueliner was in Ottawa today visiting his agent. Let’s hope a contract is signed before Thursday.