Colorado Avalanche: Judging the Impact that J.T. Compher Will Have on Team

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

The Colorado Avalanche recently recalled J.T. Compher, and he will make his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. What kind of impact will have on the team?

The Colorado Avalanche traded forward Jarome Iginla to the L.A. Kings on Wednesday, which opened a roster spot for J.T. Compher.

Now, it’s time to judge the type of impact he is likely to have on the team going down the stretch.

Compher is finally getting his shot with the Avs, and boy is it overdue! I’ve been calling for this for quite some time:

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Compher was one of the bigger acquisitions in the Ryan O’Reilly trade, so his potential impact on the team is definitely ripe with expectation. According to the Colorado Avalanche website, Jared Bednar is certainly not tempering his expectations:

"We have high expectations for Compher from what we’ve seen from him, and he’s had over a half season of pro hockey now and playing against men in the American Hockey League. He’s played a big role on their team down there, so he is a guy that we’re looking forward to getting up here. And he will play a little bit of special teams for us, for sure. We’ll want to get a real good look at him here going down the stretch."

Sounds like the Avs plan on holding onto Compher for the remainder of the season, which should make a lot of Avs fans happy. Also, with expectations like that, Compher is certainly going to need to be impactful.

How impactful will he be though?

Where Does J.T. Compher Fit into the Lineup?

At the time of writing this, it is still unclear where Compher will slot in the lineup. However, he is projected to find time in the bottom six at either the center position or left wing*.

* It’s going to be interesting to see how those lines change when Sven Andrighetto joins the team on Saturday against the Winnipeg JetsMy money is on John Mitchell getting scratched, and Compher taking over either the third or fourth line center duties.

As Bednar said, Compher is also going to get a little bit of time with the specialty teams. If I’m a betting man, then I’m betting most of that time comes on the penalty kill, but we shall see.

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On a side note, J.T. Compher will wear Ryan O’Reilly’s former No. 37, the number O’Reilly wore prior to switching to No. 90 after the contract holdout and offer sheet by the Calgary Flames.

This is an exciting time for J.T. Compher because he is about to make his NHL debut. However, it is also an exciting time for the Avalanche organization. This from Bednar:

"We’re kind of anxious to look at him. He’s had a good year in the American Hockey League. He had a little bit of injury trouble early that put him out, but he’s been playing really well since he’s been back, playing important minutes down there and carrying the load for the team offensively. We’re kind of excited to see him."

So, Compher will slot in as a bottom six forward, to start at least, which is the role he is likely to play next season for the Avs. But, what kind of impact can he have on the game in that position?

What Can Avs’ Fans Expect From J.T. Compher?

Compher is certainly known more for his defensive acumen than his offensive abilities, but that does not mean he can’t score.

Rocco Grimaldi and A.J. Greer are the only players who have scored more points than Compher this season, and each only have nine and five more points than him respectively.

Furthermore, Greer has played 10 more games than Compher, and Grimaldi has played 13 more games than Compher.

The kid is definitely San Antonio’s best offensive asset. However, he is also San Antonio’s best defensive forward. No one places any value in this stat, but Compher is the only forward on the team — who has played more than 11 games — with a positive +/- at +2.

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Compher is tenacious, he back-checks and he forechecks, and he certainly has the potential to develop into a more than serviceable second line center.

However, his role is likely better suited as the third line center. Nonetheless, Compher and Greer are likely to play roles in the Avs’ best third line in a very long time.

There’s no way to tell exactly what J.T. Compher will bring to the team over the remainder of this season, but he is NHL ready.

Regardless, the season is a bust so we can at least take solace in seeing one of the Avs’ best prospects play for 21 games.


J.T. Compher is essentially auditioning for next season at this point, and he is likely to receive a lot of attention from the coaching staff over the remainder of the season.

I personally hope he gets a lot of time at the center position in these next 21 games. However, there is nothing wrong with seeing what he can do on the wing either.

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Nonetheless, Compher is expected to slide into a center position eventually, so it is probably more beneficial to see what he can do at center rather than wing.

These are trying times in Colorado, but at least fans get to see a taste of one of the expected staple roster players next season.

On top of that, Jared Bednar is also going to familiarize himself with Compher, which will only help him be more accurate with his line construction next season.

Puck drop is at 5:30 pm MST on Thursday night, at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, on Altitude.