Colorado Avalanche: Will J.T. Compher Make the Team?

Feb 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche fans celebrate a goal by right wing Jarome Iginla (not pictured) in the second period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche fans celebrate a goal by right wing Jarome Iginla (not pictured) in the second period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche will have a glut of rookies, young players, and second to third chancers looking for roster spots during training camp and preseason this year, but Compher is likely to put up the biggest fight.

The Colorado Avalanche don’t know what kind of talent they have in J.T. Compher, not yet at least. Sure, they can speculate, they can be excited about his potential, they can even go as far as already guaranteeing him a roster spot, but they won’t know what they have until preseason and training camp starts.

However, J.T. Compher is certainly sure of the skills he possesses, and he’s making no bones about how he plans on using those skills, according to a Denver Post article.

"I think everyone wants to play in the NHL, and it’s up to the management and coaches and I hope I put them in a tough spot. Right now, it’s just day by day and focusing on getting myself ready and work on what they want me to work on and be ready in the fall."

Well, the fall is here, and so now the question remains: is J.T. Compher ready to contribute to the Colorado Avalanche this season, or does he need some time in the AHL in order to be ready?

J.T. Compher With Competition to Make the Roster

If Patrick Roy was still the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, then I would be certain of saying that Compher will be sent to the AHL, at least to start the season.

However, Jared Bednar is now the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, and — as a result — biases formally reserved for players like Cody McLeod, Andreas Martinsen, and John Mitchell may be subject to scrutiny.

Furthermore, with players attending the World Cup — a constant theme this time of year — Compher figures to have an increased role in the lineup during the preliminary stages of the season.

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And… Spider Man’s uncle said: “with great power, comes great responsibility,” but let’s attribute that quote to its rightful owner: Stan Lee — Marvel Comics genius.

Anyway, an increased role will only stand to benefit the progress that Compher hopes toward making the roster. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Compher to make that progress swiftly and earn a roster spot. And that is even more true with a new head coach behind the bench, a coach devoid of any biases that might have previously kept Compher from said roster spot.

Will J.T. Compher Make the Roster?

I really hope so. I think that three years of collegiate experience, a final junior year in which he saw a serious increase in offensive production coupled with his usual defensive prowess, plus his ability to play all the forward positions, should earn him a spot on the roster.

However, I’m not in Jared Bednar’s head. Nonetheless, the Colorado Avalanche have a lot of versatile players on their roster that can play either wing or center. With that ability, they have the choice whether or not to spread their assets out to effectively create a roster brimming with offensive talent on every line.

If it were up to me, I might consider constructing the lines as such:

Line 1: Mikhail Grigorenko — Matt Duchene — Nathan MacKinnon

Line 2: Gabriel Landeskog — Carl Soderberg — Mikko Rantanen

Line 3: Joe Colborne/Comeau — J.T. Compher/Colborne — Blake Comeau/Jarome Iginla

Line 4: Cody McLeod/Compher — John Mitchell — Andreas Martinsen/Compher/Comeau

The “back-slashes” where Compher is involved is where I believe he’ll challenge for a roster spot in this year’s training camp and preseason. However, I believe the only chance he really stands of challenging is at third line center, or on the fourth line right wing.

If he doesn’t earn either of those spots, then I think he’ll be sent to the AHL, and be the first call-up in lieu of injury.

That’s my speculation for the day folks, and along with Mikko Rantanen, Tyson Barrie — and perhaps A.J. Greer — J.T. Compher is going to be the player I pay the most attention to in camp and preseason.

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Cheers to the cold rolling in, the World Cup training camps starting, and hockey season beginning its reign over sports in just over a month.

Hockey season is here, and it’s time to be excited for an end to the long months of summer!