Another day, another professional tryout.
During the dog days of summer this August, the Colorado Avalanche have brought on their second PTO of the summer. This time, it belongs to Joel Kiviranta, who was a member of the Dallas Stars.
The name may sound familiar. In case you forgot for very obvious reasons, Kiviranta was the man who put the Avs out of the 2020 NHL bubble playoffs in Edmonton, with a Game 7 hat-trick overtime winner to put the Stars into the Western Conference Final - all as a rookie.
This has so far been the highlight of Kiviranta’s career, as he only managed to get over the 10-point mark once in his career. Last year in 70 games with the Stars, the Finnish forward only recorded eight goals and one assist. He struggled massively with penalties, sitting in the box for 40 minutes, and hence was let go by the Stars in free agency.
Now, he has landed in the Mile High City at least for training camp and a couple of preseason games in the coming month. Kiviranta is an interesting tryout, as he could bring back some of the magic he’s used before to bolster the bottom six of the Avalanche. If fate works out, he could theoretically end up on the fourth line on either wing to provide some depth scoring and work the penalty kill.
Jared Bednar would likely want him to play a more physical role as he likes to do with his bottom six forwards but also have a scoring tough. Kiviranta may struggle in this department, especially if he continues to take penalties as he did last season. Thus, it could steer Bednar and the Avalanche away early in the preseason if he can’t perform.
Could you see Kiviranta bringing back some magic to work for the Avs rather than against them? Let us know in the comments below!