Avalanche day one wrap of free agency


The Colorado Avalanche had a lot of work to do to prepare for the upcoming season and not a lot to work with. Valeri Nichushkin and his situation, as well as the uncertainty of Gabriel Landeskog, have created quite a cap crunch. With the extension of Casey Mittelstadt, there was even less to work with. There were initial rumors that teams were looking into picking up Ross Colton, but nothing came of it. Colorado would have to make a priority of at least one player on their free agent list, and that was Jonathan Drouin. Here is all the activity from day one of the free agency for the Avalanche.

Restricted free agents

Colorado extended qualified offers (QO) to two of their four restricted free agents (RFA) yesterday. Jason Polin and Wyatt Aamodt were both given QO yesterday and will also have arbitration rights this summer. Polin will have a case as he made his NHL debut, but Aamodt has never seen a game in an Avalanche sweater. The two that were not given QO’s were Alex Beaucage and Gianni Fairbrother. Colorado sent Beaucage, who was drafted in 2019, to the ECHL this season because of poor performance. Fairbrother, who was acquired in the Alex Newhook trade, saw only nine games this season because of injuries.

Jonathan Drouin

The former junior teammate of Nathan MacKinnon headed to Denver, hoping to reignite his career. And that he did. Drouin would see career highs in every scoring category since joining the NHL. After the Avalanche gave him a chance on a contract of $825,000, he would prove worth way more than that. Drouin would be the first announcement of the day with a one-year contract with $2.5 million. He would take a discount to stay in Denver, but happiness is worth more.

Joel Kiviranta

Joel Kiviranta got a chance on a PTO with the Colorado Eagles last season and made the most of it. He would earn a spot on the Eagles’ roster and eventually fight his way to a two-way contract with the Avalanche. An unfortunate injury to Artturi Lehkonen led to Kiviranta’s call up, and he has not looked back since. Kiviranta played 56 regular season games and produced nine points. They confirmed his contract for one year at a value of $775,000.

Calvin De Haan

The Avalanche have a gap to fill on their third pair and Calvin De Haan can fill it. He plays a very similar game to Jack Johnson. Except that he does it better. A defenseman that will block lots of shots and play on the third pair, he can move the puck responsibly. De Haan can block lots of pucks and is reliable in most areas of the game. He has logged 632 NHL games with 141 points (24–117) and can log a dependable 10–15 minutes of ice time per game if needed. De Haan’s contract will be for one-year and worth $800,000, a good value to the situation that the Avalanche are in.

Jacob MacDonald

A man that really needs no introduction, or should I say re-introduction? Jacob MacDonald has already seen games in the Avalanche organization in 2019–2023, winning a Stanley Cup. In January 2023, the Avalanche organization made a trade involving the former captain of the Eagles, Jacob MacDonald, for Ryan Merkley and Matt Nieto. MacDonald signed a two-year contract worth $775,000 per year with the organization. He is an offensive defenseman that can carry the puck very well. MacDonald has been used as a forward by the Avalanche because of his speed into the zone. The Oregon native still owns a home in Loveland, so it will be a simple transition.

Chase Bradley

Chase Bradley Chase Bradley was an unsigned draft pick from 2020 (203rd overall) by the Detroit Red Wings. He spent the last three years at UConn as he played in 95 games and tallied 51 points (25–26). Bradley primarily played on the third line, but has great positioning away from the puck. His skating sets him apart on the bottom-six, holding his edges well. The St. Louis native has a hard shot that can be deceptive. Bradley will join the organization on an entry-level deal that will only cost the Avalanche $775,000 when he is in the NHL. Expect Bradley to spend most of his time in Loveland.

T.J. Tynan

The former Eagles’ captain (another one) returns to the organization after spending three years with Los Angeles and Ontario. T.J. Tynan previously played 16 games with the Avalanche as a fourth line center during the 2019–20 season. A player that wins faceoffs and is hard on the forecheck, he will fit right in either in Denver or Loveland. Despite his small stature (5’8”), Tynan can throw his body around and lets you know he is there. Expect Tynan to be one of the first to be called up from Loveland for the center role if needed. The Avalanche have confirmed that Tynan’s contract is only for one year.


Parker Kelly

Parker Kelly is a hard working depth forward that will provide energy in the bottom-six of the lineup. Kelly is hard-hitting and can provide support on the penalty kill while adding a shorthanded goal here and there. Last season, Kelly had career highs in points and games played and gained confidence in this last season with zero fights. This contract will be Kelly’s first contract outside of his entry-level contract. They confirmed the contract at two-years, one-way, and worth $825,000 per year.


Calle Rosen

Calle Rosen is another name that we all should recognize for two reasons. He is a returning Avalanche/Eagles defenseman, and he was involved in a controversial play. During the 2022 playoffs, he was the defenseman who pushed Nazem Kadri into Jordan Bennington, which led to the water bottle incident. Rosen will primarily be an Eagle this year that is a good puck mover with some offensive ability. He can defend his position and has a very active stick. Rosen agreed to a one-year contract with the team.


— Sean Walker — signed with the Carolina Hurricanes for 5×3.6 million

— Yakov Trenin — signed with the Minnesota Wild for 4×3.5 million

— Brandon Duhaime — signed with the Washington Capitals for 2×1.85 million

— Riley Tufte — signed with the Bruins organization for 1x775k

— Nate Clurman — signed with the Penguins organization for 1x775k


The goal of the day was to sign Drouin, and the Avalanche did that. The rest of the signings were to fill the depth chart back up and get players back to Loveland. I would say today was a very successful day, considering the circumstances. I would have loved to see Riley Tufte stay here, especially since he even said that he was finally getting a chance on the top line. The coming days will tell us how the rest of the Avalanche and the Eagles will fill out. There really does not seem to be anything to worry about.

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