Step one in what hopes to become a very long and fruitful season for the Colorado Avalanche begins this morning with the first of four official on-ice training camp days. As always the group of 56 players will be split into two for each identical session of camp.
The Avalanche have invited 32 forwards, 18 defenseman and six goaltenders to be a part of this season’s camp. Artem Anisimov, Jack Johnson and Gabriel Fontaine are those on Professional Tryout agreements. Fontaine likely is in consideration for an AHL job as he has spent his entire four-year pro career with the Hartford Wolfpack. Standouts from rookie camp are forward invites Tarun Fizer, Matej Kaslik and Jack O’Brien. All the other listed players are already contracted to the Avalanche or Colorado Eagles.
It was revealed in Jared Bednar’s opening media availability that Devon Toews had shoulder surgery in the offseason and is not expected to return by opening night. He was spotted skating at captain’s skates a couple weeks ago in a red non-contact jersey and is clearly progressing but Bednar said Toews hasn’t yet been cleared for contact in time for camp. In the 18-minute interview Bednar also covered topics such as young player who will be closely watched in preseason and what new veterans recently acquired and on try-out could potentially provide.
If that wasn't enough news for the day, the Avalanche also announced that Logan O’Connor signed a three-year contract extension which begins in the 2022-23 season. The Average Annual Value was reported as a reasonable $1.05M over the term of the contract. The Avalanche only have five regular forwards signed beyond this season so a little roster and cost certainty makes sense as the organization ties themselves to a player they love who hopes to become a lineup mainstay in the coming season.