Mason Geertsen Signed To Entry-Level Contract By Colorado Avalanche


Mason Geertsen has gotten a lot of hype in many circles of Avalanche fans this season. He just wrapped up his Junior season as the MVP of the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, and many Avs’ fans were curious if he’d be offered an entry-level deal prior to the June 2015 deadline.

As announced by the Colorado Avalanche earlier this evening, fans who were hoping to see Geertsen signed got their wish. Geertsen has signed a three-year, entry-level contract (ELC) with the Avalanche, which means he will begin his professional career next season.

In all likelihood, Geertsen will play the entire campaign with the Avalanche minor league affiliate. If that will still be the Lake Erie Monsters next year remains to be seen. He may also get to play a few games with the Monsters this season to get his feet wet.

There was a bit of a hiccup getting his deal done, as Geertsen and his camp reportedly were looking to get a 2nd-round value ELC instead of a 4th-round value, citing his steep development curve as justification.

Geertsen has really emerged as a top prospect for the Avalanche after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NHL entry-draft. His development has been remarkable, and he deserves the accolades. Geertsen recorded 38 points for the Giants this season (13 G, 25A) in 69 games. He also led the team with 107 penalty minutes.

Mason is noted for being a big, physical defender. His 6’4, 205 lb frame allow him to physically dominate the competition. He will still be a big boy for NHL standards, but won’t have the massive physical advantage he enjoyed in juniors. Geertsen will have to continue to improve and refine his game to succeed at the NHL level.

On draft day, he was touted as a physical kid with a bit of  a mean-streak. A guy who is limited in skating and what he can bring aside from being a bruiser. He also has a reputation for not being shy to step up for his teammates.

To his credit, Geertsen has really rounded out his game since then. He is reportedly much stronger in all phases, and even has showcased a bit of an offensive touch. The legend of Geertsen’s shot has really grown, so much so, that a leprechaun in my cereal called it an absolute howitzer.

He still needs to work on his skating, and as Cody Nickolet has said, he isn’t pro ready. I wouldn’t expect him to be at this point. Frankly, I’m just really excited to have a bit of an unexpected prospect making some real waves in the Avalanche system. Hockey’s future has this to say about Mason:

"Geertsen is a solid wall in his own zone at the junior level. If the puck goes into the corner in his end opposing players are unlikely to wrest it from him easily and if they do it will surely come with a price. He will come to the aid of teammates and is a willing combatant if a situation arises. Geertsen displayed some offensive elements to his game in his third WHL season in 2013-14."

The Avalanche have played things slow with Duncan Siemens, giving him a full year in the AHL to develop this year. I expect them to do the same with Geertsen. Avs fans are right to be excited about Geertsen’s future, and it’s great that Colorado got him signed. I also think that expectations need to be tempered a bit. He is still 1-2 years away from being NHL ready. After all, he’s still only 19.

With Chris Bigras, Will Butcher, and Duncan Siemens all in the system, the future looks bright on the blue-line. Today it’s Mason Geertsen’s day, and I look forward to seeing his career unfold.

I think he’s going to be just the type of d-man the Avalanche need. The Avs need someone with a big shot, and to add some physical juice to the back-end. The highly touted Bigras and Butcher are both smaller guys who rely on positioning and smooth skills. Geertsen adds an intimidator to the mix.

If Geertsen can further develop his hockey sense and vision of the game, the ceiling is the limit. He has the potential to become a real solid top-4 guy in this league if he continues to work hard, and puts the finishing touches on his game.

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