The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy's departure to the Suban-Weber t..."/> The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy's departure to the Suban-Weber t..."/>

Colorado Avalanche Facing a Tough Central Division

Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9), left wing Mikkel Boedker (89), defenseman Tyson Barrie (4), left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) line up for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9), left wing Mikkel Boedker (89), defenseman Tyson Barrie (4), left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) line up for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate the win over the Anaheim Ducks at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Ducks 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate the win over the Anaheim Ducks at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Ducks 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy’s departure to the Suban-Weber trade, this division will look different in 2016-17. Let’s take a look at the divisional foes the Colorado Avalanche will face in the coming season.

The 2016 NHL draft has come and gone. The NHL free agency has seen a few blockbuster trades and signings, all 30 teams have begun development camps with their prospects. We have seen the first few glimpses of how the league will look next year. Let’s take a spin around the Central Division to look at key additions and losses to see how the Colorado Avalanche will stack up against their divisional foes next year.

As you know, the six other teams the Avs must play in the division are the Blackhawks, Stars, Wild, Predators, Blues, and Jets. Of these teams, all but the Jets qualified for the playoffs last year, marking the third time in as many years that the Central Division was represented by five teams. This division continues to be the toughest to emerge from in any professional league, in any sport. The teams are so potent top to bottom that the Central Division winner is frequently considered a major contender for the Stanley Cup.

Remember that the Avs will play each team five times. This has to do with the odd number of teams in both the Pacific and Central divisions. Starting next year, one of these two divisions will also have the Las Vegas franchise to compete with, however most experts believe that the new team will end up in the Pacific Division.

As we go, we’ll look at some key losses to these teams as well as some of the potential replacements that could step into their voids. Finally, I’ll offer a little bit of analysis and we’ll take a look at the season series with the Avs this coming year.

Next: 'Hawks