A wrap from day one of Avalanche development camp


CENTENNIAL, Colo. As the fans go into the depths of the summer, all the prospects arrive in Colorado for their chance to shine. The Colorado Avalanche drafted nine players last week and most of them were at Family Sports Center to make a good first impression today. Some will say that Development Camp does not mean much, but to some, it can make or break a career. Players like Logan O’Connor got their shot there and ended up winning a Stanley Cup several years later. There were a lot of invites for the Avalanche this season, but here are a few of the standouts from day one of the Development Camp.

Calum Ritchie

Calum Ritchie was a draft pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft. His shoulder injury, which was said to be holding him back, caused him to fall in the draft. Because of the injury, Ritchie could not take part in the 2023 Development Camp, but made a great impression this year. He has a quick deceptive shot that can change angles at the last second to throw goaltenders off. His skating skills were well above most. As he showed excellent edge work in a lot of the drills today. To add to that, he had some speed that helped him break loose around the corners. He will head back to the OHL in the fall unless he signs a deal with the Avalanche.

Taylor Makar

The Avalanche drafted Taylor Makar, the little brother of defenseman Cale Makar, in the seventh round in 2021. He recently just made the switch from UMass-Amherst to the University of Maine. Both schools have great programs, so he will develop just as well in Maine. Taylor has a bulkier body than Cale and a completely different skating style. Little brother can still get off to a strong start and has a long and powerful stride. Taylor throws his body around a little but can enter the zone quickly if needed. He will be a grinder, not a scoring forward.

Marek Hejduk

That’s right, Marek Hejduk. The son of former Avalanche captain Milan, is at camp on an invitation. We saw him doing informal practices last summer before heading off to Harvard for the year. Hejduk doesn’t have the scoring talent that his dad has with only seven points in 32 games, but he sure skates like him. He is powerful from the start and can take corners very well. His wrister can be impressive as well. Hejduk looked as though he grew a couple of inches over the school year or he was learning how to skate with his body type. Fans would love that he gets signed, but seems unlikely at this point.


Day one is a wrap and we still have a ton of ice time to watch with two more days to observe, plus a scrimmage. Some prospects look as though they are taking full advantage of the opportunity, others are going through the motions. Seeing Pavel Francouz in a tracksuit was strange, but something we all will have to get used to. There will be plenty of coverage tomorrow, so keep checking back on our site for more!

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