Colorado Avalanche Are Not Developing Prospects Properly

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche continue to baffle with the moves they do and do not make — it’s time to call up some AHL talent.

After Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov went down for the season with an ankle injury on Monday, I was certain the Avs would have announced an AHL call up on Tuesday morning.

I was wrong, and this can’t keep happening. Not me being wrong that is, but the Avs refusing to call up any of their prospects from the AHL. You see, that’s how you develop talent, you give them a chance at the NHL so they can learn to play at that level.

The Avs have made no call ups this season that didn’t have to do with injury. They’ve instead made waiver claims, and plugged defensemen into their lineup that don’t belong there.

Cody Goloubef is an absolute bust, but he’s likely to get back in the lineup on Tuesday night instead of a defenseman from the AHL. Meanwhile, Duncan Siemens and Chris Bigras continue to languish on a bad team in the minors, instead of getting opportunities in the NHL. Siemens is having a real steady year in San Antonio too.

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And — I’ll keep clubbing the horse on this one — if Joe Sakic wanted to give Siemens another shot to prove himself, then that opportunity needs to happen this season, it needs to happen now.

Siemens is on a one year contract for a reason right? And, was he not the 8th defenseman coming out of camp? Why he has not received an opportunity to play in the NHL yet? It’s absurd.

Avs Need to Learn How to Develop Talent

Calling up players from your minor team is a common practice these days. Teams plug in cheap young players into their depth positions and allow them to mature at the NHL level.

They scratch or move veterans down who aren’t performing, and give kids itching for an NHL opportunity a chance to prove they belong in the league. It’s cheap, it’s smart and it helps teams develop their young talent.

Witness what the Kings did just a few days ago by calling up Paul Ladue and Adrian Kempe for an influx of young talent, and a shakeup of the roster.

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As I said earlier, the Avs have not called up a player this year for anything other than injury call ups. Instead of giving their players who are on two-way contracts time in the NHL, assessing their talent and making decisions accordingly, they’ve just left them in the AHL.

Duncan Siemens would obviously just be another injury call up, but there is literally no reasonable explanation for why he hasn’t been called up yet.

The Colorado Avalanche can put Nikita Zadorov on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) if it’s really a question of cap space. Heck, they should have done that with Semyon Varlamov’s contract the moment it was announced he would be out for the year as well.

Like I said, baffling.


I suppose I could be jumping the gun on this article, and the Avs could still be planning a recall of either Siemens or Bigras, but it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Either one of them should have been recalled the moment it was realized that Zadorov fractured his ankle. The Avs could even consider giving Sergei Boikov a chance. It’s just absurd that they have not given their AHL talent more opportunities to learn the NHL game this year.

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And the most baffling circumstance around all of those talents is what the Avs have done with Duncan Siemens. He’s approaching 24 swiftly, was signed to a one year contract so that he could prove he belongs, and yet has still not received an opportunity in the NHL this season.

And, he was clearly the eighth defenseman coming out of training camp this season. I don’t get it, but maybe there is something I’m missing. There has to be because right now none of this makes sense.

Your move Joe Sakic, do something.