Colorado Avalanche Could Run into Expansion Draft Problems with Sven Andrighetto


Colorado Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto is having early success with the team, and the Avs should absolutely offer him a contract at the end of the season.

When the Colorado Avalanche traded forward Andreas Martinsen for Montreal Canadien’s forward Sven Andrighetto, I was ecstatic.

The Habs knew they didn’t need Andrighetto’s services in their bottom six, and that Martinsen would be a better fit for them there. Meanwhile, the Avs knew that Andrighetto had a lot of talent, and the potential to be a top six forward.

He’s dominated the AHL, with a total of 132 points in 170 AHL games. His time in the NHL obviously hasn’t been that productive yet, but he looks to be finding a way to produce with the Avs.

In 30 NHL games this season, he has 10 points, but in just three games with the Avs, he has two assists. Both assists are of the primary variety as well, and both are gorgeous, but more on that later.

The point is, the Avalanche would be foolish not to extend Andrighetto a contract at the conclusion of this season.

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He may never end up playing in the top six. However, Andrighetto can certainly be an extremely productive third line scoring winger, with the ability to move up and down the lineup when necessary.

And, he can play either wing, as well as the center position. Quite frankly, that’s a versatility the Avs cannot let go of.

Unfortunately, the expansion draft throws a proverbial wrench in any negotiations the Avs might have with Andrighetto.

Negotiations with Andrighetto Should be Easy; Expansion Draft is Complicated

Unfortunately for the Avalanche, Andrighetto’s rights become a bit complicated with the expansion draft this summer.

He will need to be protected because he is no longer a first or second year professional. And, he has also played in 70 or more games in the past two seasons.

If I’m the Las Vegas Golden Knights, I am also extremely interested in a player with the potential that Andrighetto has. So, if the Avs leave him unprotected he is very likely to be picked up by the Knights.

That’s where things get tricky because the Avs already have to protect four defensemen unless Francois Beauchemin waives his no-movement clause. Which forces them into protecting eight skaters instead of protecting seven forwards and three defensemen.

And, that situation obviously leaves them with the ability to protect just four forwards, and the one goalie.

At this point, the defensemen the Avs protect would be Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, Beauchemin and Nikita Zadorov.

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The forwards the Avs protect would be Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabe Landeskog and then take your pick because Mikko Rantanen is exempt.

The other choices to be protected at the forward position are Mikhail Grigorenko, Sven Andrighetto, Carl Soderberg, Matt Nieto and Joe Colborne.

So, even though most individuals have noted the Avs lack of worry with the expansion draft, that actually might not be the case.

If Andrighetto tears it up over the remainder of the season, who do you choose to protect out of the above forwards?

To me, the choices come down to Grigorenko, Nieto and Andrighetto at this point. The Golden Knights are more than welcome to take on Soderberg’s and Colborne’s ridiculous contracts.

The Avs Need to Make a Trade to Hold onto Grigorenko, Andrighetto and Nieto

Quick question: If you’re the General Manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, would you pass on the opportunity to take Andrighetto, Grigorenko or Nieto in the expansion draft?

The Golden Knights will only be selecting one player from each team, but the Avs shouldn’t risk losing either Grigs, Ghetto or Nieto.

So, some trades need to be done before the expansion draft, and one trade in particular. The Avs must get rid of Francois Beauchemin’s no-movement clause before the expansion draft. Even if said trade only offers a return of a puck pyramid.

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The Avs should be doing everything in their power to protect Nieto, Grigorenko and Andrighetto. Grigorenko is still a valuable trade asset if nothing else, and both Andrighetto and Nieto have shown a propensity for third line level performance, at the very least.

Furthermore, both Andrighetto and Nieto possess the speed, youth and skill representative of where Joe Sakic wants to take this organization.

And, Andrighetto has some serious hands. This is the pass he made to Rene Bourque against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night:

And here’s the pass he made to Tyson Barrie against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night:

Both of those passes are gorgeous, as I mentioned earlier, and both came from nearly the same place on the ice.

And, how could you not like that play on Bourque’s goal either? He pressures the man and is able to steal the puck, and then makes a quick decision on the pass to Bourque.

The point is, the Avs need to find a way to either protect all three players, or at least Grigorenko and Andrighetto.


If the Avs are trying to get younger, as Joe Sakic has stated on multiple occasions, then Nieto, Andrighetto and Grigorenko need to be a part of the organization after the expansion draft.

In other words, a Francois Beauchemin trade is almost imperative at this point.

Said trade would make room for some younger defensemen first of all. Furthermore, it would allow the Avs to expose the players they want to let go of. They could expose Soderberg, Colborne, and Comeau’s contracts instead of exposing young talent like Andrighetto, Nieto and Grigorenko.

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Finally, if Andrighetto’s performance in his first three games is any indication of the player he could become with the Avs, then he is a lock for protection. But that protection simply cannot come at the cost of losing Grigorenko. If the Avs lose Nieto then so be it, but that should be avoided as well.

Speed, skill and defense is the future of this Avs team, and that future cannot be mortgaged for the cost of Francois Beauchemin.

That is all…