2011 first-round pick Duncan Siemens hasn’t quite shaped up into the defenseman the Avalanche were hoping he would become.
After impressive scoring and physicality as a member of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, the Sherwood Park, Alberta native has failed to really stick out at the pro level. He currently boasts just four NHL games to date, failing to record a point in any of them and falling to just seven points (but 100 penalty minutes) for the lackluster San Antonio Rampage last year.
Now, it seems his shot with the Avalanche is all but over, as he hit waivers on Friday morning.
Per NHL rules, the other 30 clubs in the league will have the next 24 hours to place a claim on Siemens, bringing him into their own systems for an NHL roster spot.
More likely, though, he’s going to go unclaimed, leaving him open for reassignment to San Antonio for another year.
Siemens certainly puts in the physical effort, dropping the gloves when needed and throwing his body around practically every shift.
The other aspects of his game, though, need significant work. His scoring touch from juniors has fallen off now that he’s at the pro level, and his work in the defensive end - outside of delivering big hits and taking penalties (both questionable tactics for effective defensive play), he struggles to cut off oncoming players and prevent shots.
Siemens just signed a new extension with the Avalanche this summer, inking a one-year, two-way deal worth just $750,000 at the NHL level.
The fact that he was inked to a two-way contract to begin with didn’t bode well for his chances at hitting the NHL lineup, as teams rarely negotiate that kind of contract unless they’re reasonably confident the player is an AHL regular. He’s arbitration-eligible, but don’t expect the Avalanche to spend much time fighting to keep him on board if he opts for that route next year.