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Avalanche sign Tomas Tatar to one-year deal

The Avs land another former Devil and add forward depth.

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils - Game Three Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images

After making a surprise appearance at Avs morning skate Tuesday, the team announced shortly after that they signed winger Tomas Tatar to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. Tatar, 32, is expected to skate in a top 9 role for the Avalanche.

Coming off of a strong two-season stint with the New Jersey Devils, where in top-9 minutes, he posted 35 goals and 43 assists for 78 points in 158 regular season games, Tatar is a player who will significantly bolster the Avs offensive forward depth. He primarily played a 2nd line role this past season, most commonly being stapled to Devils Captain Center Nico Hischier. In 9 full seasons in the NHL (2020-21 excluded), Tatar has never failed to eclipse the 15-goal mark and should be a lock for a 30-point season. Tatar is the second player to come to Colorado from the Devils this offseason, joining Miles Wood, who signed a massive 6-year $15 million contract on July 1.

After watching some highlights from this past season, Tatar loves to shoot the puck. He has a nose for the net, but his hockey senses make him successful. In the offensive zone, he seems to always be in the right place at the right time, cleaning up a lot of rebounds. While only standing at 5’10 and 173 lbs, he doesn’t let his size deter him from getting involved in the dirty areas of the ice, and he has the puck skill to make things happen in those areas. He’s good off the rush, and in the cycle and holds his own defensively. The Evan Rodrigues contract from last summer is a solid comparison to this contract.

While Tatar’s regular season success has led to a solid NHL career, one persistent stigma surrounding the Slovakian winger’s career is a shocking lack of playoff success. That stigma was put on display once again last season. In 12 playoff games for the Devils last Spring, Tatar could only contribute 1 goal to the cause (2-0 goal in Game 7 vs. NYR). This is the pace that has plagued Tatar almost his entire postseason career. Currently sitting on seven goals and six assists in 52 career playoff games, Colorado needs Tatar to find success in the postseason if the team plans on making another cup run without Gabriel Landeskog on the ice.

Let us know what you think of the deal in the comments!