The first on-ice sessions began Monday morning for the Colorado Avalanche development players and rookies. This included several invites such as two of the three goalies, including 6-foot-8 Cooper Black who looked like a monster in the net.
Some of the bigger names some people had eyes on include Sam Malinski, a defender signed as a free agent from the NCAA by the Colorado Eagles and did a good job to end the year. He could be a long shot to be an NHL defender at either the seventh or eighth choice guy if he continues to succeed.
Also, eyes were on recent draft pick Mikhail Gulyayev, the 18-year-old Russian defender picked 31st overall in this most recent NHL Draft. While he initially did not come out with the first two groups, he came out with the big group and participated in various skating and shooting drills. He’s got some time to go, but he looked solid in his first appearance in an Avs jersey.
Besides the big names to watch, there were also a few surprises to come along. Taylor Makar, younger brother to Cale, looks to have improved his skating heavily which in turn helped his game. If he continues to learn from his brother who is an incredible skater, it could help his chances of making the team even more.
Furthermore, the newly-recruited Gianni Fairbrother coming from the Montreal Canadiens in the Alex Newhook trade was decent. Another surprising name was defender Jeremey Janzel, using his body well and made plays doing so after being drafted 187th overall this year. At 20 years old, unsigned from the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, he’s looking for a contract to sign to go pro or to see if he’ll stay in the Pacific Northwest.
Finally, Shawn Allard’s son Owen Allard earned himself an invite to camp as well. Although, he left an impact both on and off the ice and maybe earned himself some extra work time with this impact.