The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of value to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Andrei Buyalsky comes up 17th on our list in this year’s T25U25. After missing out last year thanks to the insane depth pool the Avs had in their arsenal, Buyalsky’s impressive resume for the 2021-22 season propels him up a little higher on our list this year.
The 22-year-old center found playing time at three different levels this previous season. He started in his home country of Kazakhstan playing for HK Almaty. In 24 games, he recorded five goals and eight assists. While it was nothing too special while also getting a -2, he moved across to the United States for the rest of the season.
He found his way to Dubuque, Iowa for the majority of the playing season in the USHL. He played 36 games in the Midwest, recording an impressive 15 goals and 17 assists. His first half-season in the US could be seen as a successful one at that.
He then spent three games playing at the University of Vermont, kicking off his college career. He only played three games for the Catamounts with donuts across the box score. He did have four minutes of penalty time and a -1, but in the end, it wasn’t anything too impressive but also not at all bad.
He’s currently unsigned by the Avs, but the third-round draft pick from 2021 found some good form with the Fighting Saints in his first game time in the US. If he can find that streakiness and talent at the University of Vermont, he will have a mighty fine year playing college hockey.
Depending on the volume of production he can have, he could be on the radar of the ECHL Utah Grizzlies at minimum or even the Colorado Eagles if he does really well. It would call for him to sign an Entry-Level Contract and then be in the competition with other depth forwards in Loveland.
Buyalsky has only gotten better as time’s gone on, especially once setting foot on US ice. Will he continue to perform, or will college hockey soon become too much for him to take on the chin and fight through? This year and next year will be key for him at school to see if he has a future with the organization.
2022 Top 25 Under 25
#18: Matthew Steinburg
#19: Nikolai Kovalenko
#20 Trent Miner
#21: Keaton Middleton
#21: Wyatt Aamodt
#23: Taylor Makar
#24: Nathan Clurman
#25: Ivan Zhigalov