Not one day after our very own Scott MacDonald speculated about Nicolas Meloche’s future in the Colorado Avalanche organization he was traded to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for AHL goaltender Antoine Bibeau. The deal is one for one.
Meloche was a second round pick back in the 2015 draft out of the QMJHL. After four seasons in the Q from age 16 to 19, Meloche moved into the Avalanche’s AHL system. In 113 AHL games over two season, Meloche produced 11 goals and 38 points on 156 shots, shooting 7.1% as a defenseman. But after two seasons where he’s been continually passed over for younger and better defensemen, Meloche has been given a chance for a fresh start in the San Jose Sharks organization.
Meloche was ranked 17th in our Top 25 Under 25 ranking. Tom points out in his prospect analysis that Meloche could be in the NHL this season — he has the ability — but he is so far down the depth chart on Colorado — especially on the right side — that it would not be fair to him or the team to have him wallowing in the AHL.
After a rocky first season as a pro, Nicolas Meloche finally found some stability with the Colorado Eagles. Drafted 40th overall in 2015, Meloche a smooth skating right-shooting defenseman with size that can contribute offensively - he’s got a great shot from the point on the power play - while also providing the type of grit and toughness you like to see from a big defender.
In return for Meloche, the Avalanche have acquired AHL goaltender Antoine Bibeau. The 25-year-old goaltender cleared waivers on September 24th and is expected to be the backup behind starter Adam Werner. Bibeau makes $675,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 in the AHL for this season before becoming an RFA in the summer.
Bibeau was initially drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round in 2013, making his NHL debut against his new team the Colorado Avalanche. On December 11th, 2016, Bibeau stopped 26 of 28 in a 3-1 loss to the Avs. You can check out the box score from the game in the link below. Bibeau has only played two NHL games in his career, the second came in the same month and was his first career win, 3-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
As for his AHL success, Bibeau has a career .909 save percentage across five AHL seasons with the Toronto Marlies and San Jose Barracuda. In 182 games, Bibeau has a record of 95-60-20, with 16 shutouts. Based on his games played, Bibeau will be a solid 1a/1b, splitting the load with Werner.
This trade also allows the Avalanche to fill out their goaltending depth all the way down to the ECHL. Hunter Miska was sent down by the Avalanche yesterday and is at AHL training camp. It’s easy to believe that he will now head off to the Utah Grizzlies and be the starter down there on an AHL/ECHL contract.
Did the Avalanche get enough for Nicolas Meloche?
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