Note: I can't seem to post comments so bare with me. I can only post short words, but not full sentences.
The Avalanche are very much stocked up with centers and their defensive woes are bound to bite back.
Here is their current line-up on D:
The former #1 draft pick will be making this his fourth year with the Avs after being traded by St. Louis. He hasn't performed up to expectations, managing 4 points in the shortened 2013 season. Will he bounce back? It sounds like he will need an effective partner. He seemed to toughen up his play compared to his previous seasons.
He had a decent 10 points last season and he was overall the best of the bunch. Gritty defensive efforts made him a force to be reckoned with. Managed a -3, same as EJ, on his +/- count.
The hashtag #BlameHunwick was used frequently by Avs fans on Twitter whenever they perceived him to be responsible for goals against their team. While disadvantaged height-wise, he's a speedy skater and as he went on with the Avs, he seemed to progress and make fewer errors in play. His stats of 6 points and a +14 rating in 43 game made a good case for him. The Avs put him on the waiver wire but he survived it and he will tryout for the team yet again.
The young D-man had his first full taste of NHL experience after only playing a meager 10 games last season. He excelled in scoring points, getting 13 of those, which is more than any Avs defenseman last season. He still makes a lot of bad plays but his is yet improving as he develops as style of play that is NHL caliber. We'll see how he handles a true NHL season of 82 games.
This last season proved painful for him as he was plagued with injuries for most of it. Only managing 12 games, he will have to do more this upcoming season in order to compensate, mostly by strengthening his body in an effort to maintain some health. His performance in the 2011-12 season speaks volumes of what he's capable of doing.
He had a few games to test out the waters this past season, but it was shy of his performance back in the 2011-12 season where he played gritty, fast hockey and had a few "wow" moments, such as this goal against San Jose:
He's always been in competition with Barrie in getting a shot at the big leagues and we'll see soon who manages the be the better of the two.
Journeyman and newcomer André Benoit was signed after he spent the last season in Ottawa where he scored 3 goals, 2 of which were game-winners. I'm not very well-versed with his performance, but he won the AHL's Calder Cup with the Bighamton Senators in 2010-11 and got more time on the ice with Ottawa after Karlsson's injury.
Another newcomer who played for the Lightning, with whom he has a won the Stanley Cup, and the Flames in the past. He waived his no-trade clause after a point-drought and was signed by the Avs, seemingly to raise the average age on the team, along with former Av Alex Tanguay for David Jones and Shane O'Brien. He will observed and we'll see if he can be reborn after coming to Denver.
Other defensive prospects include Duncan Siemens
, who is yet to make his NHL debut and dwindling in the WHL, and Nick Holden
, who was signed by the Avs this summer as well.
They will all battle it out in tryouts, yet the bunch still lacks a player who can electrify the defensive corps. Will they trade for a highly-touted D-man, or will someone shine in tryouts and later on in the season?