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Crystal Ball Gazing

Posted 7:19 PM ET | Comments 1
Crystal Ball Gazing

A look at the Avs' pipeline

While the Avalanche's stars are aging (minus Paul Stastny and few others), it is time to look at some of the prospects coming through the Avs' pipeline. Prospects are listed based on NHL readiness. The number in parentheses is the estimated number of years to NHL readiness.


T.J. Galiardi- 6'2" 185 lbs. Galiardi is a playmaking center currently playing with the Avs' minor league affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. Galiardi possesses good speed and great vision. He sees the ice really well and makes very crisp passes. He could make the Avs club next year, possibly as a left winger. (1)

Ryan Stoa- 6'3" 200 lbs. Stoa possesses a lot of NHL skills. He has good speed, good shot and great passing. He uses his speed to get into scoring areas and his size to stay there. He also possesses leadership skills and plays well under pressure. It will be interesting to see him battle with the Chris Prongers of the league. However, he should be an excellent third line center. (1-2)

Kelsey Tessier- 5'9" 168 lbs. Tessier may have been a steal. He may be undersized for an NHL player but he has a lot of skill. Tessier's main attributes are speed and vision. He has the speed of a young Pavel Bure and the vision of a playmaker. He plays with Patrick Roy's Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, averaging about a point per game. Tessier plays with the heart of a guy twice his size. He may take a few years but he should be an impact player on the Avs. (3)

Michael Carmen- 6'0" 180 lbs. Carmen plays with Stoa at Minnesota. In his Junior year, Carmen has shown average talent. He has good speed and good instincts but has a while to go before being ready for the NHL. (4-5)

Left Wingers:

Johan Alcen- 6'1" 189 lbs. A winger from Sweden is the only left winger of note. He is average along the board. He will need to overcome a lot to make the Avs. (5)

Right Wingers:

Chris Stewart- 6'2" 228 lbs. Stewart has most people scratching their heads. He has been really effective at the AHL level but yet to crack the NHL lineup. He has a great balance, and a good shot. He plays a very aggressive game in the offensive zone but gets lost in the defensive end. Look for Stewart to be one of the first call-ups this season. (1)

Brandon Yip- 6'0" 171 lbs. Yip is a smart player with a lot of potential. He plays for Boston University along with fellow Avs' prospects Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen. Yip has average speed and a great shot. He skates into offensive areas and waits for passes to come to him. It could be three years before we see him in NHL, if we even see him at all. (2)

Brad Malone- 6'1" 207 lbs. Brother of Tampa Bay forward Ryan Malone, Brad Malone isn't as talented as his brother. He's a good stronger checker with potential to become a power forward. It is likely he will be a good grinder. With the emergence of the Codys, the signing of Per Ledin, don't expect to see Malone anytime soon. (4)


Nigel Williams- 6'5" 226 lbs. Williams appears to be the complete package. He has the size to be a really good NHL defenseman and speed to boot. Williams possesses a great slap shot, speed and vision. Expect him to crack the Avs' lineup next year. (1)

Kyle Cumiskey- 5'11" 164 lbs. Cumiskey is an enigma. On one hand, he has great speed and good offensive instincts. On the other hand, he has a hard time skating with the puck and hitting the net with his shot. If he can improve on these, look for him to become a good defenseman. (1)

Kevin Shattenkirk- 5'11" 193 lbs. The Avs' best defenseman may be two to three years away from making the team. Shattenkirk is unusually smart for a player his age. He understands the game very well. He has great all around skills and vision and plays the same game as the Anaheim Ducks' Scott Niedermayer. (2)

Cameron Gaunce- 6'1" 203lbs. Gaunce is the Avs' second round draft pick in the 2008 draft. He has a good frame and good offensive skills that can be used on any team. He will need to improve his skating before he can jump to the pros. (3)

Colby Cohen- 6'2" 200lbs. Cohen plays with Shattenkirk and Yip at Boston University. He has good offensive skills, including a powerful shot. However, he is a little lazy and undisciplined in the Defensive zone. It could take Cohen a few years to reach the NHL level. (4)


Tyler Weiman- 5'11" 215lbs. Weiman may never reach the NHL. He has good motion for the NHL but lacks focus at times. He has shown flashes of NHL ability but nothing consistant. (1)

Billy Sauer- 6'2" 172. Sauer has the skills and size to be an NHL backup. He moves really well, and uses all his equipment equally. He has adjusted his game to every level and has the ability. He will just have to prove himself at the next level. (2)

Peter Delmas- 6'2" 169. Delmas fasions his game after Roberto Luongo but is built line Ryan Miller. He is solid in his positioning but can sometimes be too aggressive and over commit. He is about two years away but has the best potential of any Avalanche goalkeeper. (3)


The Avs have two strengths at center and defense. They have some impact players but not to the extent that other teams have. Shattenkirk should be great pick but other than that, the Avs don't have very many difference-makers to the likes of Toews, Kane, Ovechkin, Schenn, Doughty, etc. Immediate needs are at left wing and goaltender. The Avs' system has been mildly productive, giving the Avs Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski, Cody McLeod, T.J. Hensick and, to some extent, David Jones and Kyle Cumiskey. If the rest of the year goes the same way as the first 19 games, the Avs should use it to get some high draft picks, possibly even by trades.

All sizes according to hockeysfuture.com
Filed Under:   prospects   NHL   Colroado Avalanche  
November 25, 2008 5:42 PM ET | Delete
I agree with the overall outlook.
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