Colton appreciation, Drouin’s assist rate, remaining cap space and other Avalanche bullets


Colorado Avalanche news and notes for Tuesday, July 18

Exactly 10 days before his case was set to go to trial, Ross Colton and the Colorado Avalanche agreed to a four-year deal on Monday. The 26-year-old will make $4 million AAV through the 2026–27 season and includes a full no-trade clause in year two, with modified no-trade clauses in the final two years.

  • Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal pointed out that the Avalanche got their second- and third-line centers this offseason for a combined $8 million, with Nashville absorbing 50% of Ryan Johansen’s remaining deal. Colorado parted with J.T. Compher and Alex Newhook this offseason, and both players signed contracts with their respective teams for a combined…$8 million.
  • When you think about the roster landscape in that manner, it is intriguing, to say the least, especially considering how much better the Avalanche got—at least on paper—in the face-off circle.
  • Colorado was a bottom-five team in face-off win percentage (46.7) in 2022–23; Colton and Johansen have won 52.1 and 53.4% of all draws in their career, respectively.
  • Of course, the Colton vs. Compher comparisons have already started.

  • Penciled in along the third line with Colton and Miles Wood—two primary play drivers—I wonder if Logan O’Connor will see an uptick in his scoring this season.
  • Evan has been all over it lately, pointing out Jonathan Drouin’s 1.37 assists-per-60 minutes last season would have been the third-best on the Avalanche roster behind only Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin.

  • Drouin is expected to begin the 2023–24 season atop the lineup with his former Halifax teammate MacKinnon, looking to recapture the same chemistry that produced a combined 180 points between the two in the 2012–13 season.
  • If that all comes to fruition, Drouin’s $825,000 contract will look like the biggest bargain this offseason, with the Avalanche possibly looking to re-up with the 28-old-year next summer.
  • Now that the Colton deal is done, the Avalanche can shift their focus to getting a deal done with restricted free agent Ben Meyers. Colorado has $2.8 million in cap space remaining. That number includes putting Gabriel Landeskog’s $7 million cap hit on long-term injured reserve. Meyers is expected to be re-signed for less than $1 million, so the Avalanche will have a bit of money left to make another roster move.
  • Brennan Vogt was at morning skate on Monday, and Erik Johnson, who had been wearing all of his Avalanche gear up to this point, was seen in Buffalo Sabres gear. This and his absence in training camp make the signing feel very real.

  • Sportsnet’s Luke Fox has his top 10 unrestricted free agents still available.
  • Amid sexual assault scandals, Nike has officially ended its partnership with Hockey Canada men’s program.

Center Ice Forums Colton appreciation, Drouin’s assist rate, remaining cap space and other Avalanche bullets

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