Avalanche recall Agozzino, Street, and Vincour


The Colorado Avalanche have been bitten by the injury bug, which is paving the way for some other guys to get an opportunity. On paper, it isn’t ideal to lose Alex Tanguay to a facial injury for at least a few games, or have Dennis Everberg, Brad Stuart, and Jamie McGinn placed on injured reserve. But, the Avalanche are a team looking for a spark, and perhaps these new faces will be able to provide that spark.

Let’s meet the new faces, and break down what they can potentially bring to to the lineup.

Andrew Agozzino

Agozzino is a smaller forward, at 5’9″, 185 lbs, and wasn’t even selected in the NHL draft. He has found a nice home with the Lake Erie Monsters for the past two seasons, and has led the team in scoring in each, with 52 and 49 points. This season, he really impressed during training camp and preseason, with his energy and compete level. Agozzino was always buzzing when he was on the ice, and creating favorable situations for his team.

Aggozzino plays left wing, and given his offensive upside, might even get a few opportunities to play with some of the big guns on the Avalanche. He won’t overwhelm anyone with his physical presence, and isn’t the flashiest guy out there, but his work-rate will certainly impress Avalanche fans. Just a solid hockey player, who may have found an NHL role already if it weren’t for his size.

Ben Street

Street is an older player, at 27 years of age. He was acquired as a free-agent by the Avalanche this past summer. He plays the center-ice position, and is only slightly more imposing size-wise than Agozzino at 5’11”, 200 lbs. My guess, is that Street will end up being the healthy scratch out of the new-comers. However, if he does see time, look for him to just be a steady center-man. He probably won’t bring too much offensive upside, with 2 assists in his 19 career NHL games.

My training camp memories of Street, are a guy with a very strong work-ethic. This is certainly what caught the eye of the Avalanche brass when choosing to bring him up. With the Avalanche having Duchene, MacKinnon, Mitchell, Cliche, and Briere all capable of playing centerman’s minutes, unless some more injuries happen (fingers crossed that they don’t), Street’s role will be a guy expected to come in and give guys a good look during practice.

Tomas Vincour

Vincour is the most intriguing player out of the bunch. Vincour is a 6’2″, 205 lb, right wing from the Czech Republic. He is a talented player, who just hasn’t seemed to be able to put it all together yet. At 24 years of age, this is a big chance for him to make an impression at the NHL level.

Vincour was a player who really stood out to me in training camp, especially because of his shot. There were a few times during drills where he would put on clinics with his ability to shoot the puck. Along with Iginla and Duchene, Vincour was the most dangerous player on rush/shooting drills.

Unfortunately, he was injured prior to the season, and thus his impressive camp was all for not. Well, maybe not. It looks as though he was impressive enough to get a chance with the Avalanche now. Vincour is a player who could really add some scoring punch to the lineup, if he plays with confidence. He could also follow the mold of some other Euro Avs projects (Hlinka and Lidstrom come to mind), who just couldn’t get it done at the highest level in North America.

The guys who weren’t called up

It is telling that the Avalanche did not choose to bring up Joey Hishon, Duncan Siemens, or Stefan Elliott. All three of these guys cost the Avalanche premium draft picks (1st round, 1st, 2nd), and ideally will have a positive impact for the Avalanche down the line.

This isn’t to knock the guys who did get called up. I am happy for all three, and they are certainly deserving. But you just don’t expect to see two undrafted guys, and a Euro flier signing take priority over top-end draft picks very often.

It is also interesting that the Avs chose not to recall a d-man. They currently are sitting at 6 defenseman on the main roster. Somewhat strange, but not a huge deal I guess. Will be interesting to see how Roy sets the lineup for tomorrow’s critical home contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.