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How many NHL debuts in the upcoming Avalanche season?

Predicting how many will make it to the show in burgundy and blue.

Seattle Kraken v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

As a long-running tradition in anticipation of the coming season we look at who might make their NHL debut while wearing burgundy and blue. It is always a special moment to see a player, either a young prospect or a journeyman minor leaguer, realize their dreams and play in the NHL for the first time. Who might we see make that achievement in 2023-24 for Colorado Avalanche?

Reviewing Last Season

Though 70% of the vote predicted only two or three NHL debuts in 2022-23 there were actually four who got the traditional solo lap before participating in their first NHL contest. The prospects were probably an easy guess with all three forwards in Shane Bowers, Oskar Olausson and Jean-Luc Foudy who got the call for their first stint with the Avalanche. Of the trio Foudy was the only one who got multiple games with nine.

A debut surprise usually comes in the form of a career minor leaguer who finally breaks through at an older age and Cal Burke fits that description and was our fourth debut. The 26-year old forward played in two Avalanche games in his third year in the organization playing with the Colorado Eagles.

Predicting This Season

For this coming season most of the debut options center around new players to the organization. Forwards Jason Polin, Ondrej Pavel and defenseman Sam Malinski all signed contracts with the vision of opportunity and should likely have that come to fruition for a NHL look in the season. Wyatt Aamodt could also sneak into that group as he joined the organization in the previous year’s NCAA free agent signing class.

Just like Burke last year, a longtime minor leaguer could finally get their first call to the show. Spencer Smallman is another who has been a staple in the AHL for the Eagles but hasn’t received an NHL game yet. Newly signed goaltender Arvid Holm could also fit this description too. He served as back up for the Winnipeg Jets last season but has not officially entered a game yet. That could easily change with Colorado.

Then there’s always the possibility of prospects getting a call up and Matt Stienburg headlines that list as the newest signed Avalanche draftee. Fellow former 2019 draft picks forward Alex Beaucage or goaltender Trent Miner could also get a brief look in their last seasons under NHL contract.

Last but not least are the spring latecomers after their seasons finish with their current teams. The very long awaited arrival of Nikolai Kovalenko from Russia and the KHL should finally become a reality sometime in the spring, which is one Avalanche debut to nearly count on as a certainty. Could Sean Behrens likewise squeeze a few games out of the organization in agreeing to an Entry Level Contract? Or perhaps an unknown NCAA free agent like Ben Meyers?


How many NHL debuts will the Avalanche have in 2023-24?

  • 3%
    1 or fewer
    (9 votes)
  • 11%
    (28 votes)
  • 32%
    (80 votes)
  • 33%
    (81 votes)
  • 12%
    (31 votes)
  • 3%
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    7 or more
    (6 votes)
243 votes total Vote Now

What was your answer and who do you expect? Let us know in the comments!