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Keaton Middleton back for another year

The depth defenseman signed a one-year contract.

Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

While waiting to resolve the Nazem Kadri or second-line-center situation and the Nathan MacKinnon mega-extension the Colorado Avalanche are tying up some loose ends on Restricted Free Agents in preparation for the 2022-23 season. After taking care of Cal Burke next up on the list was Colorado Eagles depth defenseman Keaton Middleton who played three games for the Avalanche in the 2020-21 season.

This one-year deal is a two-way contract and indicates Middleton is likely to remain in the minors for the majority of if not the entire coming season. The former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick received only a slight bump in minor league pay to $100,000 from his previous entry level deal and will be a Restricted Free Agent again at the conclusion of the contract.

Surprisingly the Avalanche did not have anyone file arbitration so there is no specific timeline to get the other contracts completed for those who also received a qualifying offer such as Shane Bowers and Mikhail Maltsev. Assuming they don’t pursue opportunities in Europe they, too, will be signed in short order.