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Martin Kaut signs his entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche lock up the 16th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

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NHL: NHL Draft Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have signed forward Martin Kaut to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 16th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has already spoken about his intention to come over to begin his professional career in North America next season, now he is one step closer.

Odds are that the 18-year old will begin the season with the Colorado Eagles as they make the jump to the AHL, but there are some believe that Kaut could jump right into the NHL.

Having already played two seasons in the Czech professional league, many scouts believe that Kaut is more NHL ready than most in his draft class. The fact that he plays a position of great need for the Avalanche helps his case for making his NHL debut this season.

Though the NHL and AHL are both options for Kaut this season, if the team feels they want to be very patient with him, the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL own his junior rights.

Playing with HC Dynamo Pardubice last season, Kaut had 9 goals and 16 points during the regular season, while adding another five points in his team’s seven playoff games.

He is a two-way player that likes to model his game after Patrice Bergeron. As Avs GM Joe Sakic put it on draft night. “He competes, he’s strong on the puck. He’s got a great shot, and he’s a pure goal scorer. We just like the upside and what he can bring to our club.”

In an interview with Ryan Clark of the Athletic, Czech reporter Tomas Lorincz had nothing but praise for the youngster.

“He can be good on defense. Very good on defense,” Lorincz said. “He never gives up. Even if you’re losing 0-5, he’s fighting 100 percent all the time.”

Martin Kaut seems like a smart young man who is thrilled to get his North American hockey career under way. Signing him this early shows that the feeling is mutual for the Avalanche.