The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eight writers and 320 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2018 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
It was a marathon season for Travis Barron as he transitioned from a four year career in the OHL with the Ottawa 67s to professional hockey all in one spring. The third overall selection in the 2014 OHL draft, Barron played his entire OHL career with Ottawa for a total of 149 points in 250 regular season games and 14 points in 20 playoff contests and spent the last two seasons as team captain. The 2017-18 season saw Barron post career highs in points with 57 and 21 goals as he primed his transition to professional hockey.
The Colorado Avalanche selected Barron in the seventh round at 191st overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft. Barron worked on improving his speed and production the last two years to go along with his leadership and heavy physical style and was rewarded with an Entry Level Contract, which he signed in late March of this year. His ultimate value to the organization has yet to be determined as evidenced by a wide range of opinion on his placement.
Once the 67s were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, Barron was quickly brought to San Antonio to begin his professional career. He got a taste of AHL action for two games over a weekend and scored two points in his short stint. Then the marathon began as Barron was sent to the Colorado Eagles to experience the playoffs at the professional level. The Eagles would then go on to have a two month long playoff run culminating with winning the Kelly Cup in their last season as a part of the ECHL.
Barron fit right in at the professional level and already obtaining the experience transitioning to that type of game is what likely increased his ranking to inclusion on this list. Although more in a depth role Barron was an effective player for the Eagles with his hard-nosed style and speed. Barron made his greatest impact in the championship game when he carried the team with his energy in the first half of the contest and then scored the game tying goal in the Eagles 3-2 come from behind victory.
As a professional Barron will always likely hold a depth role but if there was ever someone who can make a difference with those intangibles its him. The valuable experience he received this spring should give Barron a head start in training camp and starting his first full professional season. Already as a fan favorite in Loveland he should continue to play his gritty, energetic and physical style for the Eagles while chipping in some points as a smart playmaker. Barron will have to really solidify himself defensively and on the penalty kill to catch the eye of the Avalanche for a possible call-up and shot at a depth role in the NHL.