The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 1, 2021 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.
When he was drafted 202nd overall by the Colorado Avalanche back in 2019, Trent Minor - as with all goalies drafted outside of the first round - was viewed as a project that could hopefully develop into a player who could eventually help the organization down the road. He is still that, but as we head into the 2021-22 season, he has found himself not only moving up the depth chart but also having signed an entry-level contract - something we rarely see from seventh round picks.
Given his skill set, it’s not surprising that Miner is outperforming his draft pedigree. It’s likely that the hesitation to draft him was purely based on the combination of size and lack of national program experience; he stands at just 6’1 -short for a goalie - and he has no experience on the international stage with Hockey Canada.
From Cat Silverman:
Miner does a fairly decent job controlling his depth, playing a heavy outside-in style but failing to overcommit at the top of his crease in a way that leaves him stranded in the face of high-danger scoring chances. Take a look at some of his plays from this last season; he still needs to clean up his reads a little bit, but he looked perfectly at home playing right in the middle of the blue paint and rarely getting caught wandering outside the posts.
His recovery movement is phenomenal, but he’ll obviously need to continue working on bringing the need for those recoveries down a bit as he progresses in major juniors. Rather than playing skates in the posts, he sometimes has a tendency to create a post overlap and rely on a fast, efficient shuffle to get back into the center of his crease. It works well for him right now, while the pace of the game is still manageable, but could mean a steep learning curve when he moves up to higher levels of play.
Like most junior players, Miner spent a lot of last season in limbo. Once the AHL season got underway, he joined the Colorado Eagles on an amateur tryout. He appeared in six games putting up a 2.86 GAA and a .903 save percentage in his first taste of professional hockey. As junior leagues began to open up, he was then able to rejoin his Vancouver Giants in the WHL where he finished fifth in the league with a .915 sv% over 15 games. It was a disjointed season but in the end, Miner was able to get more game action than many goalies his age. The Avalanche obviously liked what they saw from Miner as they signed him to his three-year entry level contract at the end of May.
Being 20-years old Minor can still go back to the junior for one season. That gives the organization the option of either sending him back to the WHL or keeping him at the professional level to continue his development. After letting Adam Werner walk this offseason, Miner has four goalies ahead of him on the depth chart. Assuming health, Darcy Keumper and Pavel Francouz will be the tandem with the Avalanche while Jonas Johansson and Justus Annunen will likely split the net with the Eagles - the team also still has Hunter Miska around on a pro contract. That would leave Miner as either a starter with the Utah Grizzlies and an AHL call up, or the team could decide to send him back to the WHL where he could play a ton and have more stability to his season.
Wherever he plays, Miner is on a very solid development path. Assuming no setbacks, it’s easy to see him working his way towards a decent NHL career - even if only as a backup.
20. Colby Ambrosio
21. Dennis Gilbert
23. Tyler Weiss
25. Nick Henry