Hockey News

3 Avalanche Players To Re-Sign This Offseason – Hockey Writers – Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche, who lost to the Dallas Stars in the second round of the NHL Playoffs 4-2, have begun offseason negotiations. The team has 14 players on the roster signed for next season, eight UFAs (unrestricted free agents) and one RFA (restricted free agent).

Some key changes may be in place this season after the team’s loss to the Stars. But there are three players the team should hold on to. The 2024-25 salary cap will increase, and the Avalanche already have nearly $16 million to work with. Here are the three unrestricted free agents they need to re-sign this offseason.

Jonathan Drouin

Jonathan Drouin is a staple among the Avalanche UFAs, and given the way he elevated his play with Nathan MacKinnon while playing on his line during the regular season and briefly in the playoffs, it doesn’t make sense to bring him back.

He expressed how much he loves the team and wants to come back, and head coach Jared Bednar said, “I hope so. Well, I mean, that would be up to him, his agent (and) management. You are loved in our locker room. Certainly like his ability, his talent and the way he played for us this year. So, hopefully, we can do it.”

This season, he put up the best numbers of his career, with 19 goals and 37 assists, dating back to the 2018-19 season with the Montreal Canadiens. His game was fluctuating early on, he had key sequences that didn’t matter and shuffled the line to keep going.

Jonathan Drouin, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

It wasn’t until he was paired with MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen that his game started to click. The Avalanche’s best offensive line played 485.4 minutes with an expected goals percentage (xgoals%) of 57.3 and goals per 60 minutes of 3.55, the fifth highest rate in the league.

He also contributed on the power play, finishing with 19 power play points, his highest total since the 2018-19 season with the Canadiens. He managed to be another wheel in the power play clog.

At 29 years old, Drouin signed a one-year guaranteed deal for $825,000 last summer. He received a long-term deal to help the Avalanche bounce back from this series loss and continue his playmaking connection with MacKinnon going forward.

Yakov Trenin

Acquired at the 2024 Trade Deadline for a 2025 third-round pick and defensive prospect Jeremy Hanzel, Yakov Trenin was added to help bolster the bottom six and use his high-flying and physical game on the penalty kill. He scored two goals and one assist in 16 games, but his addition was instrumental in the team’s success down the stretch and in the play-offs.

The Avalanche needed its strong two-way game and physical play, especially in the lower $1.7 million, playing a role in the bottom of the sixth. His ability to look forward is paired well with players like Miles Wood, Ross Colton and (another trade deadline acquisition) Brandon Duhaime.

Related: Colorado Avalanche Trade Deadline Range

The team’s depth played a big role in Round 1 against the Winnipeg Jets but was largely silent against the Stars in Round 2. It didn’t help that Trenin was injured midway through the series while playing a key role in the Stars’ best defense. the players. Depth is a key factor heading into the playoffs, and the Avalanche thought they had enough with the addition of Trenin and others, but it wasn’t enough. Bringing him back, as he can play on the left wing and through the middle, will be a huge addition to the bottom six division’s overhaul for another play-off game.

The 27-year-old is in his prime, and with more time to rehabilitate his injuries, we could see his offensive numbers rise next season.

Sean Walker

Sean Walker, acquired from the Flyers in Philadelphia in exchange for Ryan Johansen and a 2025 first-round pick (top 10 protected), was a hot commodity approaching the deadline. Walker was in the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Kings, having signed before the start of the 2020-21 season for a cheap $2.23 million. He had a career season with the Flyers, with six goals and 16 assists for 22 points, including a three-pointer.

Bringing in Walker really helped solidify the defensive pairing if the Avalanche traded Bowen Byram. All three lines were easily replaced, with other players ready to go in case they were injured or needed days off. Walker helped provide both offensive and defensive depth on the third pair while being able to help lead the blue line on the second power play unit.

Walker finished with four goals and seven points in 18 regular season games with the Avalanche but none in the playoffs. A key factor in his move will be the amount of money he is asking for. Even though he is a great player, the Avalanche have other players they need to list, so it would be difficult to sign him for big money if he is going to play on the third team.

Free agency is, as always, an exciting time to see what changes general manager Chris MacFarland and hockey president Joe Sakic see fit to make this team even better. Losing in the second round is not good, and the team knows that. With so much at stake, we know management will do everything they can with the money they have to help take this team to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Substack Hockey Writers Colorado Avalanche Banner

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button