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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #22 Chris Romaine

A long development road ahead for this young defenseman.

Photo Credit to Katie Gaus @katie_gaus

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Five writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 1, 2023, in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.

This former 2022 sixth-round draft pick cracks our ranking for the first time after being an honorable mention the previous year. Chris Romaine was the headliner of that 2022 two-pick Avalanche draft class but due to his long path to pro hockey, much less the NHL, there’s not yet a strong opinion formed on this player. Still, his season was encouraging enough to receive votes from each participant and move him onto the list in a position indicative of where there’s plenty of time left for this right-handed defenseman to develop his game.

Romaine in his first year as an Avalanche prospect spent the season in the USHL split between two teams, which is not unusual for that league. In true Avalanche fashion it was a late start to the season for him due to an injury before the year even got started and thus he did not make his USHL debut until November. Playing in the league was a big step up from playing in prep school, which served as a springboard to next playing in the NCAA.

Romaine is known as a good puck mover with an all-around skill set which will hopefully lead him to become a two-way defenseman at the next level. However, the production he created was modest with just five assists at each of his USHL stops in Omaha and Green Bay. The young defenseman will have to build upon his tools in the NCAA to earn an NHL contract but has displayed an aptitude for the position with a good showing at the two Avalanche development camps he has attended.

For the upcoming season, the expectation is that Romaine will be ready to head to Providence College to get his NCAA career started. If not, the USHL is a fallback option for another season. As a player drafted out of prep school the development path is a long one but the Avalanche hold this player’s rights through his college career so there is plenty of time for Romaine to earn a pro contract.

2023 Top 25 Under 25

#23 Maros Jedlicka

#24 Andrei Buyalsky

#25: Nikita Ishimnikov