5 Colorado Avalanche Prospects That Can Make The Jump In 2015

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5. D Chris Bigras

Sep 22, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Brad Winchester (55) shoots and scores past Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard (31) as defenseman Chris Bigras (57) in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bigras was the Avalanche’s second round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He was never really a goal-scoring defenseman — neither for the Barrie Colts Bantam AAA and Minor Midget AAA teams nor for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack. However, Bigras scored 20 goals this past season and added 51 assists for 71 points, which made him finish third in team scoring.

It remains to be seen how well his game translates to pro hockey, but at least he was off to a good start. In six games with the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate in Lake Erie, Bigras recorded four points — all assists — in six games.

Furthermore, Bigras is defensively reliable. He could develop a slightly more physical game and put his decent frame — 6-foot-1, 195-pounds — to use more often. If he succeeds in doing so, he may be able to develop into the perfect partner for Erik Johnson in the near future.

It is of course unlikely that Bigras can jump right from junior into the NHL. However, if he proves that he can succeed at the highest level, head coach Patrick Roy may give him a chance right out of training camp. If not, I do not think he will need too much time in the AHL before he is ready. Except for salary cap purposes, it should not be too hard to surpass Nick Holden and Nate Guenin on the depth chart.

Chance of becoming a full-time Avalanche in 2015-16: 45%

Next: D Duncan Siemens