Colorado Avalanche Roster: Surprising Reductions?


The Colorado Avalanche have sent four more players down to San Antonio to play with the AHL-affiliate Rampage:

That means, of course, that those four players are no longer in contention for an immediate roster spot. Their best hope to make the Colorado Avalanche team is a mid-season injury of a player who does make the lineup.

Mat Clark

I can’t say I was overly surprised to see Mat Clark sent down. The defenseman is big — 6-foot-3, 225 pounds — but no one’s going to accuse him of being highly skilled or talented. He’s also a right hand shot, and the Colorado Avalanche are lousy with those.

Clark is a physical player with a tough edge in the corners. Plenty of those in the Avalanche system, including those with one-way NHL contracts. As it stands, it looks like Clark may be a solid defenseman in the AHL.

Freddie Hamilton

I had high hopes for center Freddie Hamilton after last season. However, after watching him at training camp, I started having some reservations. There was a definite divide in his work versus some of the other prospects.

Seeing him play at the Burgundy and White game, I continued to be underwhelmed. It appears he was no more convincing at last night’s game against the Calgary Flames. Either center Freddie Hamilton isn’t showing enough work ethic, or he’s just an AHL talent.

Mason Geertsen

More from Avalanche News

Seeing Mason Geertsen’s name on the list of roster cuts this early on did surprise me. He had a very solid training camp and represented well at the Burgundy and White game. He’s a player in the new Avalanche style — big (6-foot-4, 203 pounds) and physical yet still skilled with skating talent.

However, the 20-year-old Geertsen is still early on in his development. He just made the transition to professional hockey in March 2015. There’s no question he needs some work in the AHL. He’s likely to be an early call-up, though.

Duncan Siemens

I was disheartened but not overly surprised to see Siemens’ name on the list. (Similar to Freddie Hamilton.) I thought Siemens had a better training camp and preseason last year. And you don’t make the team by not getting better.

This also could be it for the Colorado Avalanche’s 2011 11th-overall draft pick, at least as far as this team goes. He’s decent-sized (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) but a stay-at-home defenseman. That may just not be in the Colorado Avalanche new style. It also seems head coach Roy has made his decision about Siemens, cutting him this early. And that’s that.

Surprising Avalanche Roster Keeps

I was a little surprised, too, by some names that did not appear on that list.

Specifically, I was a little surprised to see center Ben Street is still, ostensibly, under roster consideration. He’s not a player in the Colorado new style, being only 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, though he does display speed and hockey IQ. He also had the highest shot total of any Avalanche in last night’s game with six. I can’t see him cracking the roster, though.

I’m also a little surprised to see Andrew Agozzino still on the roster. Again, he’s a small (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) forward. He’s got a lot of skill, though, so maybe coach Roy is seeing how he stacks up to another diminutive forward, Joey Hishon.

The Colorado Avalanche roster still consists of 40 players. The team has four more preseason games to evaluate these players before announcing its opening night roster. There are a lot of cuts that are going to be made over the next 10 days — and I suspect the next round is going to be even tougher (and perhaps more disheartening) than this one.

However, that also means the Colorado Avalanche is going to have one tight opening night lineup to face the hated Minnesota Wild.

More from Mile High Sticking