Colorado Avalanche: Who’s Tradable Amongst the Group?

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Colorado Avalanche
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I’m grouping all of the prospects (Conner Bleackley, Nikita Zadorov, and Chris Bigras) together because they can’t be traded outright, they would probably be included with some other player on the roster, or a draft pick.

As such, they would probably get thrown in with either of the above mentioned players as a sweetener, and possibly to pick up a higher draft pick from the other team.

Also, since the Colorado Avalanche have 50 contracts, it’s very likely that any trade they make will certainly include more players on their end, and more prospective return on the other, like a player ready to the hit the ice now, and a draft pick or two.

My conclusion is that one of these talented prospects will be part of almost any trade that takes place, in order to ensure that they get the man they want, have space for said player, and also get a good return in draft pick nature of some sort.

Here’s where I talk about Johnny Mitch.

John Mitchell and a Prospect

I think that Conner Bleackley is out in this scenario because the Avs would probably bank on a guy like Bleackley coming up and providing a good amount of what Mitchell currently brings to the ice.

So, a John Mitchell trade is really to any team that’s looking for a good 3rd or 4th line center than can play responsible and provide jump in minimal time on the ice.

The prospect is included for the 50 contract situation mentioned above, and the Avs would hope to get a good player in return. If they move John Mitchell and a prospect, they can get a good top-4 defensemen, without hurting the forward group that much.

I had some trouble finding what I think would be a good fit, because the Avs certainly won’t trade within their division, just because of what they would be asking for, not because of what they give the other team in return.

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Also, if we’re looking at defensemen, which we are, then the Avs would want a left-hand shot to pair with Barrie, so that narrows things down as well.

I looked within the Pacific, and Vancouver and Arizona are really the only teams that would want to look at a guy like John Mitchell, teams in the “rebuild” probably won’t look his way.

Vancouver is old, and the defense they would give up aren’t proven, or worth it.

Arizona’s only defensemen that I would want is Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and getting him from the ‘Yotes would be like trying to pry open a safe with a toothpick, not going to happen.

So here’s what I came up with:

John Mitchell and Nikita Zadorov to Toronto

Who do we get in return? Morgan Rielly of course, and a third or fourth round draft pick. It would take a lot to get Morgan Rielly to the Colorado Avalanche, but it’s not impossible, especially if we include Zadorov in the deal.

If the Leafs are going to give up a potential superstar in Rielly, then they need to ensure that they get some good return.

Zadorov is going to be a top-four defensemen, and he brings a good two-way game just like Rielly does, except for the fact that he is five inches taller and twenty pounds heavier. The leafs might like adding that sort of size to their lineup.

Also, they could use a guy like Mitchell in the bottom part of their lineup, especially since he is versatile enough to play in any position whether it be wing or center.

Morgan Rielly could fit right into the Avalanche lineup with Tyson Barrie, and our blue-line would improve in an instant. Nick Holden, who has done well in the top-four, would move to a bottom pairing which would give the Avs a formidable back-end.


I see either this trade, or a trade very similar to it as a high possibility.

As I have mentioned throughout the entirety of this article, the Avs will be looking to upgrade their roster if they want to ensure a playoff birth, and a chance to make it to the second round at least.

John Mitchell and a prospect provides that opportunity without doing too much damage in the short-term, or the long term.

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However, if they trade a top-tier prospect like Bigras or Zadorov, then they need to make sure that they are able to sign whoever they receive in return, or that their contract extends for a few more years.

Morgan Rielly will be an RFA at the conclusion of this season, and he’s likely due for a big raise. With Barrie and MacKinnon already due for the same.

Luckily, MacK and Rielly could probably both be signed to bridge deals, with the latter a more likely candidate for that situation. Still, that would put the Avs dangerously close to the cap, even with the 1.9 million they would lose in trading Mitchell.

It would be exciting to see a good young top-four defenseman come to the Colorado Avalanche, especially at the relatively low cost of Mitchell and a prospect.

There’s one more trade to discuss that would include the prospects though, so let’s get to it.

Next: Alex Tanguay and a Prospect