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Colorado Avalanche prospect report: Back from the winter break!

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Here’s what everyone was up to over the last month.

WHL: MAR 23 Tri-City Americans at Everett Silvertips Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello again!

The prospect report is back, after a month-long hiatus due to the World Juniors and life being generally busy. As much as I would like to pick back up right where I left off with these, I’m not sure I can continue doing weekly updates. I started a new job last week and I’m trying to graduate college in June, so my life is just chaos (I don’t think I’ve gotten eight hours of sleep since before Christmas).

The reports could be weekly, or maybe we go two weeks without an update. It kind of just depends on how free I am these days. Regardless, I am still following all of the prospects and will continue to post daily updates on Twitter if there are any, so follow me there (@laurkelly24) if you haven’t already. I try to use the #GoAvsGo hashtag on any and all Avs prospect related news.

I’m going to try and get something done in time for next week, though, so just bear with me as I try and fit these reports into the hurricane that is my life right now. Thanks, and enjoy this one!

Canadian Hockey League

WHL

#44 - Bowen Byram (D)
Vancouver Giants (17-18-4)

After winning gold with Canada at the World Juniors, Byram has returned to Vancouver but had last week off — which makes sense, given that he was ill during the tournament. Byram should return to the Giants lineup this weekend, and not a moment too soon — Vancouver has managed to maintain their first wildcard position over the break, but they could really use their number one defenseman back in the lineup.

And I’m just including this GIF of Byram from the World Juniors because I can’t stop laughing at it:

#34 - Sasha Mutala (RW)
Tri-City Americans (14-19-5)

Mutala had quite the month, racking up the most points of any Avalanche prospect with 15 points in nine games (six goals, nine assists).

Here are some highlights:

Mutala is up to 46 points in 38 games this season, and his 12-game point streak was snapped last night. Tri City sits just third in the wildcard race, which makes Mutala’s production even more impressive.

#27 - Luka Burzan (C)
Brandon Wheat Kings (21-17-3)

It was a good month for Burzan, too, as he caught the scoring bug and racked up seven goals in nine games.

Not sure where the apples went, though...

Burzan now has 43 points in 41 games this season, and Brandon has climbed up the standings over the last month, now sitting third in their division.

QMJHL

#16 - Alex Beaucage (RW)
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (20-19-3)

Beaucage also had a good month! The Avs prospect racked up four goals and four assists in nine games, despite Rouyn falling down the standings a little.

Beaucage scored the Huskies’ first goal of the decade:

Beaucage now has 51 points in 42 games this season and sits ninth in QMJHL scoring.

NCAA

HOCKEY EAST

#18 - Alex Newhook (C)
Boston College Eagles (13-5-0)

Newhook has picked up right where he left off from 2019, tallying a goal and two assists in Boston College’s three games in 2020. Thanks to his three-point weekend, he was named Rookie of the Week in Hockey East (an accolade that NCAA grad Cale Makar also won on multiple occasions).

#4 - Drew Helleson (D)
Boston College Eagles (13-5-0)

Helleson didn’t record any points in the three games since returning from winter break. Boston College will play UMass Lowell and Boston University this weekend.

BIG TEN

#26 - Cam Morrison (LW)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-9-3)

Morrison kicked off 2020 with the Irish’s first goal of the decade:

In Notre Dame’s four games since their break ended, Morrison is on a point-per-game pace — he’s put up two goals and two assists.

#4 - Nick Leivermann (D)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-9-3)

No points for Leivermann in the four games since the last report.

#2 - Nate Clurman (D)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-9-3)

Clurman picked up one assist in those four games. Notre Dame will travel to Ohio State for two games against the Buckeyes this weekend.

#58 - Sampo Ranta (RW)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-10-4)

Ranta returned from the World Juniors (after finishing a disappointing fourth place) and played in two of Minnesota’s four games since the end of the break. He didn’t register any points in the Gophers’ split against Michigan State.

#25 - Denis Smirnov (RW)
Penn State Nittany Lions (16-6-0)

Just the one assist for Smirnov since returning from the break, as Penn State swept their two games against Niagara and added another win over Robert Morris University. The Lions are cruising right now, and they’ll host the Michigan Wolverines for two games this weekend.

NCHC

#40 - Tyler Weiss (LW)
Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (9-10-3)

Weiss went on winter break the latest of any NCAA Avs prospects on this report, playing six games over the break. Weiss scored a goal and added two assists:

Omaha will host Denver for two games this weekend.

ECAC

#20 - Matthew Stienburg (RW)
Cornell Big Red (12-1-2)

Well, it finally happened! Stienburg scored his first NCAA goal!

Check out the goal in this video link. It’s the second Cornell goal:

Cornell plays its next two games against Northern Michigan University.

Europe

KHL

#51 - Nikolai Kovalenko (RW)
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (26-18-4)

Too old for the World Juniors this year, Kovalenko still had a productive winter break. He recorded six points (five of them assists) in eleven games over the last month.

And here’s one of his assists:

After a really rough start to their season, Lokomotiv is finally on an upswing. They now sit sixth in the conference.

#2 - Danila Zhuravlyov (D)
Ak Bars Kazan (32-10-4)

After winning silver at the World Juniors, Zhuravlyov re-joined Bars and played in their most recent three games. The team still sits first in the conference.

With information from the WHL, QMJHL, Flashscore, and NCAA team websites.