Time to add Tyson Barrie to your fantasy team.
What a pleasant surprise Barrie has been. When you talk about the 2009 draft, what and who do you think of? The beginning of a rebuild, Matt Duchene, and the steal of the draft, Ryan O’Reilly. Until now, Tyson Barrie has been overlooked as a 3rd round pick.
Spending time between Lake Erie and Denver, being a healthy scratch at times in the past few years, he has more than earned his spot in our top 6. He currently sits in the 16th spot among defenseman when it comes to points-per-game, ahead of other, elite Offensive Defenseman. An aging Dan Boyle, Alex Goligoski, Brent Seabrook, Roman Josi, Mike Green and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He sits just .01 PPG behind former Av, Kevin Shattenkirk. “The steal of the Johnson trade” I’ve heard him called. At the time of the trade, many Avs fans were unbelievably upset about letting this guy go. He is the next big thing. We just traded his defensive partner for some nobody named Matt Hunwick and now we’re letting him go for a 1st overall bust?
Well no longer do we have to fret over not having a premier, offensive-minded defenseman. Sitting at a tender 5 ft 10 in, 190 lb, Barrie certainly isn’t the biggest guy around, but he will without a doubt get the job done. He’s leading a defensive core that scored a total of five goals last year. Yes, you read that right. Five. Now, the Avalanche have a league leading five defenseman with 6 goals or more.
One attribute that doesn’t show up on paper is how unbelievably clutch Barrie has been. He has the ability to take over and dominate a game. Most recently, he threw the team on his back and carried them to victory in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night, netting the game tying goal and then scoring the lone goal in the shootout. Multiple times he has scored a late game-tying goal and most notably, he has 4 game winning goals, every single one of them coming in overtime. I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t crumble under pressure.
It’s not like he’s just a one dimensional forward positioned on the point either. He isn’t a defensive liability on the ice. Most of the time, he handles his defensive assignments very well. I don’t like plus/minus as a stat, but the numbers say it all. He leads Avs defenseman in plus/minus with 15, good enough to sit him comfortably 3rd among all Avs skaters as well.
At 22 years old, Tyson Barrie has nowhere to go but up and all signs point to him reaching the top. What an incredible season for a guy who couldn’t make the team because of Matt Hunwick.