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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #8 Sean Behrens

The Avs can never have enough puck moving defensemen.

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four Championship Game-Denver vs Minnesota State Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Sean Behrens found impressive success as a freshman defenseman at the University of Denver, playing his way up the lineup on a team that won the National Championship in the 2021-22 season. With a mix of steady defensive play and smart, opportunistic passing, he posted nearly a point per game and made the NCAA All-Rookie Team.

Behrens also spent extensive time with USA Hockey, playing with the USNTDP for two seasons prior to college where he had an impressive junior career. This has led to his selection as part of the defense group for the red, white, and blue at the 2022 World Junior Championships with promise for a bigger role in the upcoming 2023 tournament.

He’s an extremely intelligent player on the ice, seemingly always in the right place defensively with great stick work to break up passing lanes, turn pucks over, and make crisp outlet passes to spring the offensive attack. Being elusive is also a strength of Behrens’, and his combination of slick skating, skilled passing, and defensive IQ makes Sam Girard a very apt comparable player at the NHL level - though Behrens has been throwing his body around a bit more than G ever has.

Behrens won’t be laying hits at the NHL level - he’ll need to maximize his speed, skill, and smarts to become a viable roster option, and his freshman year was an extremely encouraging sign that he will be able to do so. The Avalanche aren’t afraid to use small-ish, puck-moving defenseman and clearly have found ways to do so effectively. The future is bright for Sean Behrens, and with the Avs stacked defense corps, he does not have to be in a rush to get there. Behrens could use one or two more years of college before turning pro and might even spend a full-year in the AHL before becoming a serious option in the NHL lineup.

2022 Top 25 Under 25

#9 Jean-Luc Foudy

#10 Sampo Ranta

#11: Martin Kaut

#12: Alex Beaucage

#13: Mikhail Maltsev

#14: Shane Bowers

#15: Colby Ambrosio

#16: Danila Zhuravlyov

#17: Andrei Buyalsky

#18: Matthew Steinburg

#19: Nikolai Kovalenko

#20: Trent Miner

#21: Keaton Middleton

#21: Wyatt Aamodt

#23: Taylor Makar

#24: Nathan Clurman

#25: Ivan Zhigalov