Avalanche players start coming to Denver


With training camp two weeks away, the Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Eagles players are in Denver for a captain’s skate. We have seen several big names arrive in the last few days alone. Jonathan Drouin arrived late last week with Ryan Johansen showing up several weeks before him. Alexandar Georgiev has come back and jumped in at full speed, a great sign with an absent Pavel Francouz. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen both showed up this week and looked as if they were eager to start the season.

Today, during the first session, the veterans were all going full speed. With two pro goalies in between the pipes, there was no letting up on their shots at all. One thing that caught my eye was the development of what could be the top line to start the year. Drouin, MacKinnon and Rantanen have all come together on one line, a rush that may form what could be a deadly combo…if Drouin can live up to his potential. Drouin’s potential can reach new heights with the support of MacKinnon on the line, something that he has not experienced since his days in Tampa Bay. Even on the first day that MacKinnon was here, he took Drouin under his wing and was coaching him. 


The Eagles players who have shown spent about an hour and a half on the ice today. They worked on a lot more of the basic stuff, like passing and entering from the neutral zone. Some notable names that have arrived are Cal Burke, Sam Malinski, Oskar Olausson, Ondrej Pavel and Matthew Stienburg. These players could see some time with the big club this year if the Avalanche need skaters, but hopefully that will not be the case again this year. Pavel has been in Denver since development camp and never left. His work ethic is something that has impressed me so far (even skating on his birthday). Malinski looked great during the drills, closing the gaps quickly. He has been considered a steal by the Avalanche as one of the top-rated undrafted free agents last season. 

The Avalanche have ice time reserved at the Family Sports Center in Centennial every day from now until the start of camp. More and more players will roll into town as we get closer to training camp. But the fun part is right now, watching the players who want to get season started RIGHT NOW.

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