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Colorado Avalanche Trade Deadline Targets: More Former Players

If the trade deadline goes how it did last year these are some likely options

Colorado Avalanche v Arizona Coyotes - Game Four Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The upcoming NHL trade deadline is a time for big names and splashy rumors but the reality is the Colorado Avalanche prefer to make understated moves at that time and save their assets for bigger acquisitions over the summer. Maybe they will still get caught up in Claude Giroux frenzy and win that bidding war but if not this season’s trade deadline could mirror what happened in 2021. The reality is the team is very comfortable bringing back former Avalanche players home for one more playoff run.

The organization had the right idea in going with those who were familiar to their teammates, the coaching staff and with the system and facilities just they did not aim high enough in quality to get much return on their investment when they went after Carl Soderberg and Patrik Nemeth. Perhaps a better fit or two could still be found on the market and return to the Avalanche lineup once again.

Joonas Donskoi

It is no secret that Donskoi has not exactly worked out with the Seattle Kraken and his two goals on the year surely isn’t what they had in mind when Seattle selected him from the Avalanche in the expansion draft. With another year left at $3.9M Seattle probably wouldn’t mind unloading Donskoi for some draft picks and prospects which they were not able to gather with their expansion selections.

With salary retention the Avalanche would likely have a high degree of interest in both helping their playoff run but also as cheap depth as they rebuild their forward lines for next season. Seattle could really use a NHL ready prospect like Martin Kaut who should play in their lineup immediately. Colorado knows how to insert Donskoi into their forward mix and hopefully get a little scoring punch back into their third line.

Paul Stastny

As Stastny’s career winds down it has always felt like he would make one last stop in Colorado before he heads to retirement. While Stastny has never played under Jared Bednar he is very familiar with the likes of Erik Johnson, Gabe Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon as well as the organization after spending the first eight years of his career in Colorado.

Although he is now 36-years old Stastny is still a capable player and has enjoyed a productive season with 27 points in 44 games with the Winnipeg Jets. As the team falls further out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference perhaps the Jets would look to sell off some veterans and recoup some of their missing draft pick arsenal.

It is easy to see where Stastny would fit on the Avalanche as a depth center capable of helping out on both the power play and penalty kill. Perhaps his current 57% success rate on the faceoff dot would be a welcome addition in the bottom six as well. Stastny’s $3.75M salary is a small hurdle but in taking back another depth player in return or salary retention could make the deal work.

Nikita Zadorov

This one is admittedly a bit trickier as Zadorov is also making $3.75M and has climbed into a bigger role with the Pacific Division leading Calgary Flames as the season has unfolded. Still, as a pending Unrestricted Free Agent his time in Calgary is likely short and if an equitable swap could be made perhaps Calgary would have interest. This is where the hope that JT Compher, Tyson Jost or Ryan Murray have any value comes into play.

The tricky part about bringing in a depth defenseman to the Avalanche is the puck skill, hockey IQ and mobility required to succeed on that back end so any run of the mill bottom pairing defenseman probably would have the same struggles Patrik Nemeth found in his second tour of duty in Colorado. Zadorov is a known quantity and while he was inconsistent at times he fits with what the Avalanche want to do with their defense.

Which of these players would you bring back or are there any other former Avalanche that could return?