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.
We are here at the start of our annual Top 25 Under 25 series here at Mile High Hockey. Before we get to the top names the Avs have in their system under 25, there are still a few who just missed the cut. Even with a heavily reduced prospect pool for the Avs, 28 names made up our list, and three missed out on the top 25.
Shamil Shmakov earns last place on our list with only one vote. Shmakov was taken in the seventh round in 2018 by the Avs, specifically at the 202nd pick of the NHL Draft. The goaltender from Russia has spent most of his career in Russia with three different teams including in the VHL (second tier) last season.
He had one year of experience in North America when he played in the US with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in the USHL during the 2019-20 season. However, he massively struggled in those seven games, with his GAA jumping up to 3.01 and his save percentage plummeted to .901 and then his season was cut short due to injury after only seven games. With the Avs drafting another goalie with a higher ceiling this year, his future under the rights of the Avalanche might be up in the air.
Chris Romaine is another prospect who was just drafted in this year’s draft in the sixth round to headline Colorado’s 2022 draft class. The American is still a year away from starting his college career at Providence College and will possibly still play with the U18 South Shore Kings but he has an opportunity to play a season for the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.
In 51 games in the 2021-22 season with the Kings and Milton Academy, the right-handed defenseman scored 11 goals and 19 assists. For this young 18-year-old, he does not have a bad track record. The Avs have a good history of drafting great young defensemen and he will certainly climb up this list with development as the years go on.
Nicky Leivermann was unranked in our T25U25 last year and stays below the top 25 this year as well, but only just. The American defenseman is entering his fifth year at the University of Notre Dame looking to create a good end to his college career.
Leivermann was drafted in the seventh round back in 2017 and has slowly racked up his point total in his four years at Notre Dame. If the current projection continues, he should break the 30-point mark next season. Whether or not he ends up getting time with the ECHL affiliate Utah Grizzlies afterward will be interesting to see.