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Top Avalanche News
Avalanche's Pavel Francouz: Shines in 2019-20
Francouz entered the mid-March league hiatus with a .923 save percentage and 2.41 GAA across 31 starts.
After playing professionally in Europe for many years, the 29-year-old spent most of last season in the AHL and made the jump to becoming a full-time NHLer in 2019-20. Francouz has been nothing short of fantastic in filling in for injured started Philipp Grubauer (now healthy), as his save percentage and GAA rank an impressive fifth and seventh, respectively, among all league netminders. The Czech should be a very trendy DFS option once play resumes and will undoubtedly be highly ranked on fantasy cheat sheets heading into next season.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Tyson Jost: Chips in depth production
Jost produced 23 points in 67 games prior to the mid-March suspension of play.
The 2016 10th overall pick just turned 22 and has already logged 202 regular-season NHL contests. Jost has yet to develop into a true scoring threat, though, as evidenced by his 31 goals over three campaigns. Surrounded by plenty of dangerous scoring weapons in Denver, he won't be expected to carry the offensive load anytime soon, so there's really no reason for the team to rush Jost in his development.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's J.T. Compher: One point shy of career best
Compher recorded 11 goals and 20 assists in 67 games prior to the league suspension in mid-March.
The Illinois native's 31 points are just one shy of his career-high 32 set last season, so he'd likely reach a new best if play resumes. That said, Compher actually scored five more goals (16) in one less game (66) in 2018-19, so he doesn't appear to have taken any major steps forward in his age-24 season.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Philipp Grubauer: Ready for season to resume
Grubauer (lower body) is fully fit and will be available once NHL play resumes, NHL.com reports.
Grubauer was originally expected to return in mid-March but wasn't able to get back on the ice after the league went on hiatus. Prior to the shutdown, the netminder posted an 18-12-4 record and is just one win shy of setting a new career best. Given the offensive firepower in front of him in Denver, the German should be capable of putting together a 30-win season in the future.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Justus Annunen: Pens pro deal
Annunen signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche on Thursday.
Annunen spent the 2019-20 campaign with Karpat of Finland's Liiga, compiling a 15-5-3 record while posting an impressive 1.77 GAA and .920 save percentage. The 2018 third-round pick is expected to spend one more season with Karpat, but Philipp Grubauer will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 campaign, so Annunen could realistically make the jump straight to the NHL in 2021-22.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Cale Makar: In Calder Trophy discussion
Makar had 12 goals, 50 points and a plus-12 rating in 57 games prior to the league suspending the season in March.
The 21-year-old was putting together a terrific campaign prior to the stoppage. He didn't score a goal in the 13 games prior to the season's pause, but Makar did have 10 assists during that stretch.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Ian Cole: Closing in on career bests
Cole had four goals and 26 points with a plus-21 rating and 92 shots on net in 65 games prior to the NHL suspending the season in March.
The veteran defenseman is experiencing his best season since helping the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2016-17. That season, Cole posted five goals, 26 points, a plus-26 rating, 72 PIM and 89 shots on net. All of those were career highs at that time in his career, and Cole could surpass all of those totals (assuming the regular season resumes) except PIM in this campaign.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Erik Johnson: Hitting more often
Johnson had three goals and 16 points with a plus-9 rating and 115 hits in 59 games prior to the league pausing the 2019-20 season in March.
The veteran defenseman saw an uptick in his point production just prior to the season's suspension with a goal and three points in the final four games. Johnson missed a few games because of a lower-body injury this season, hurting his overall numbers, but his per-game averages aren't where they were last season either. The only areas he's improved upon from last season on a per-game basis are in hits and blocks.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Matt Nieto: Slumping before season's pause
Nieto had eight goals and 21 points with a plus-7 rating and 85 shots on net in 70 games prior to the NHL pausing the season in March.
It's been a solid season for Nieto, but a great deal of his production came before the middle of February. In the first 52 games of the season, Nieto had eight goals and 20 points with a plus-12 rating and 71 shots. In the final 18 games before the season's suspension, he had no goals, one point, a minus-5 rating and 14 shots in 18 games. It will be interesting to see if Nieto returns to his early season form or continues his slump when (assuming games get completed) games resume.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Valeri Nichushkin: Closing in on career-high goals
Nichushkin had 13 goals and 27 points with a plus-26 rating in 65 games prior to the NHL suspending the season in March.
This has been Nichushkin's best season since his rookie campaign in 2013-14, but he slowed down a bit since the middle of February. Nichushkin had two goals and four points with an even rating and 28 shots on goal in the 15 games prior to the stoppage. It'll be interesting to see if, after the time away, Nichushkin can return to his early season form when (or if) the 2019-20 campaign resumes.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Kevin Connauton: Back in NHL during stoppage
Connauton posted zero points, a minus-2 rating and four shots in four NHL games this season prior to the league stoppage in March.
It's unfortunate for the entire league and its fans that the NHL had to suspend the season, but it's probably particularly hard on Connauton, who was just promoted back to the Avalanche in early March. Connauton played in three games prior to the stoppage and posted two shots and a minus-2 rating. The 30-year-old has one goal and eight points with a minus-4 rating in his last 54 NHL games.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Samuel Girard: Reaching career highs
Girard posted career highs of four goals and 34 points in 70 games prior to the NHL pausing the season in March.
Girard had two goals in the 14 games before the league suspended the season. Three of his goals came in the last 20 games, and with one more marker, he'll break a tie for his career high in the category. Girard has a plus-1 rating, 17 PIM and 96 shots on net in 70 contests as well.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Nikita Zadorov: Racking up PIM
Zadorov had four goals and 13 points with a plus-6 rating and 65 PIM in 64 games prior to the NHL suspending the season in the middle of March.
Prior to the season's stoppage, the 24-year-old went 17 games without a goal. This drought has put him behind his seven-goal pace from last season and the 2017-18 campaign. The good news is he's continued to be a steady contributor in penalty minutes with 316 PIM in his last 267 NHL games.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Mark Barberio: Still looking for first goal
Barberio had zero points and a minus-4 rating in the seven games prior to the NHL pausing play due to the coronavirus.
The 30-year-old spent the second half of December, all of January and all but the last day of February as a healthy scratch. He finally returned to the lineup Feb. 29, but in seven games prior to the stoppage, the only positive numbers he accumulated were four PIM and eight shots on goal. Barberio has no goals and two points with a plus-3 rating, 16 PIM and 29 shots on net in 21 games this season.... See More ... See Less
Avalanche's Jacob MacDonald: Signs two-year extension
MacDonald agreed to terms on a two-year, two-way contract extension with Colorado on Friday.
MacDonald has spent the past five years playing in the minors following a four-year career at Cornell University. The blueliner did make his NHL debut with the Panthers back in 2018-19, scoring his only NHL goal during a two-game stint. With AHL Colorado this year, the 27-year-old racked up 16 goals and 26 helpers. The Portland native will almost certainly spend most, if not all of the 2020-21 campaign in the minors.... See More ... See Less