With Colorado Avalanche Development Camp coming to a close with 3v3 scrimmages tonight (that are free and open to the public), let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the half-week of training and activities. The Avs spent their week training on the ice and around the city, as well as spending some time in the community volunteering.
One of the good things about Development Camp is the ability for beat reporters to have a chat with members of the team in the middle of the silliest month of the summer. People tend to be willing to give some hints on what to be excited about and update topics that haven’t been covered in a few months.
Ian Cole and Erik Johnson
One such example is news that Ian Cole isn’t expected back to the NHL squad until December, and given his age it might be a little longer than that. Luckily Erik Johnson, who is also out with a significant injury, hopes to be back sooner, according to Ryan Clark of The Athletic.
And in injury news, Ian Cole (hip surgery) is expected to return in December while Erik Johnson (shoulder) is expected to return to the #Avs before Cole, per source.— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) June 26, 2019
Also on defense, but not in the NHL (yet), Conor Timmins is alive and well and looking to actually play a season of hockey for the first time in two years. The cupboards of high-end defenseman are loaded to the max in Colorado, so Timmins will definitely need to put in a good showing this season in the AHL otherwise he could quickly fall out of the pecking order.
Here are some more tidbits from his season “off”, he talked about where his head injury is and who he’s been talking to and hanging out with during his time off. I’m glad he spent time with the AHL club, in my opinion it’s good to be around pros as soon as possible to really get a feel for how they operate day in day out.
The kid the Avalanche picked at #16 is small, fast, and dynamic, meaning he’s begun to impress onlookers right from the get-go in his time in Colorado. Newhook is heading to a great program in Boston College, so we won’t see him in an Avalanche jersey for a few years, but already there’s a lot to be excited about with this kid. Just check out this drill he performed on the second day of practices.
We were lucky enough to get two angles of it so we can really pay attention to his quickness from a stop and his ability to push off from a defender to create space. Little guys learn that kind of stuff early in their life because they need it to get to where they are. It’ll be a helpful skill in the NHL.
One last bit of video I was able to scrounge from the internet (thanks again to all the beat reporters, Ryan, Mike, and the team for providing us with this tape) was a little bit of goalie work. Annunen is in the video below and has a good frame for a goalie, but I respectfully disagree with Ryan and think Annunen still seems a little lagged in terms of his movements. Annunen didn’t have a great year in Finland’s version of the AHL, but he might spend time in the Liiga with Karpat so seeing him play against that competition would be really interesting.
Goalies are a true fraternity and they share as much knowledge and support as they can, even with opponents. This is a good example of that as you can see Shamil Shmakov getting detailed training from the goalie coach with Annunen right on the net with a perfect view on what’s happening.