Colorado Avalanche Should Give A.J. Greer One More Year of Development in AHL

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche need depth on their roster badly, but A.J. Greer should not be the one to provide that depth next season.

Colorado Avalanche forward A.J. Greer is having a good year in the AHL, but it would be a wise move by the Avs to allow him one more year of development.

You see, Greer started the year on an absolute tear, with 20 points in his first 24 AHL games. However, he has since cooled to the tune of just 16 points in 30 games.

And, Greer has just four points in his last 12 games. Granted, the San Antonio Rampage have lost a whopping 12 games in a row during that span.

Nonetheless, after starting the season hot, and earning a couple early call-ups, Greer has slowed his production considerably. And, it would be in the best interest of the Avs to give him some more time to develop consistency in his game.

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Greer likely won’t ever crack the top six of the Avalanche lineup, but he will certainly be a very productive bottom six player. He has the potential to develop into an extremely reliable third line scoring winger for the Avs as well.

And, he’s still only a very young 20 years old, so it’s not like the Avs would be hindering his development by keeping him in the AHL for one more year.

If Greer is made a part of the NHL club next season, the Avs are actually likely to do damage to his development. They should instead give him a chance to be the leading scorer for the Rampage next season.

One More Year in the AHL is the Best Thing for A.J. Greer’s Development

First of all, putting Greer in a position to be the best player on the Rampage roster would be good for his confidence. Second, putting him on the NHL roster at the tender age of 20 is not ideal for a player of his caliber. Allowing players time to develop in the AHL is always a smart move.

For comparison, Ryan Spooner of the Boston Bruins was drafted at No. 45 overall in the 2010 draft, six spots after where A.J. Greer was drafted in 2015.

Spooner played a total of 150 AHL games before getting full-time NHL duty the past two seasons with the Bruins. He was called up to the NHL intermittently during that span, but not permanently.

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Spooner probably has a bit more upside than Greer. However, Greer could still produce at a 30-40 point clip with time.

Greer cannot be compared to a pick like Brandon Saad — who went 43rd overall in 2011 — and is now a consistent 50 point producer. Saad only played 31 games in the AHL, and split that season between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Rockford Ice Hogs.

However, Greer is comparable to a player like  Calle Jarnkrok, who was drafted at No. 51 overall in the second round. Jarnkrok played 72 games in the AHL before being called up permanently during the 2014-15 season. Now, he’s a consistent 30 point producer for the Nashville Predators.

Who knows, maybe Greer will be NHL ready next season, and maybe I’m underestimating his potential. However, it’s probably in Greer’s best interest to develop one more season in the AHL.


The Avs have not drafted well recently. However, Greer looks to be a good pick for the Avs, and they can’t risk hindering his development.

Most seem to believe that Greer is ready for the NHL, but most would be wrong. He needs to learn how to produce more consistently first.

If Greer had continued at the same pace he started the season with, then he would most certainly be considered for an NHL job come September.

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However, he has slowed his production by a wide margin since the start of the season. The Rampage weren’t that much better to start the year as they are now either. So, it’s not like the production of the team can be blamed for A.J. Greer’s slowed performance.

Hockey seasons are a long and grueling thing, Greer might just need more time to develop the conditioning and mental fortitude necessary for consistency.

However, that decision will obviously be made in training camp. Greer could come to camp looking like a man possessed, and ready for full-time NHL duty. In that case, then give him a chance by all means.

For the time being, the Avs should air on the side of caution and plan on giving Greer one more year of AHL development.