Colorado Avalanche Should Hold Onto Sven Andrighetto for Next Season


Colorado Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto has been playing well for the team, and they would be smart to hold onto him because of his performance.

Sven Andrighetto now has five points in nine games for the Colorado Avalanche, and he has proven he can play in the top six.

That production extrapolated over the course of an 82 game season would give Andrighetto 46 points on the year. That’s pretty good production, and if he continues to improve, those numbers are likely to improve.

Andrighetto never got the opportunity to play in the top six with the Montreal Canadiens, but he is now proving he can play there with the Avs.

The only problem is that the Avs are likely to run into expansion draft problems with Andrighetto.

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In other words, the Avs will have to decide between protecting Ghetto, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Matt Nieto if Francois Beauchemin doesn’t waive his no-movement clause.

At this point, it’s very unlikely that Beauchemin will waive his no-movement clause. And, it also seems very certain that the Las Vegas Golden Knights would take the most interest in Andrighetto on the Avs’ roster.

He has the highest upside of the three players, even though Grigs is a former top 15 overall draft pick. Grigorenko hasn’t proven that he can play consistent top six minutes yet, and he may never prove that he can. Nieto, meanwhile, seems to be a third line player at best.

So, the Avs have a few options available to them.

How to Keep Sven Andrighetto on the Roster

The simplest option would be to move Francois Beauchemin. That would give the Avs the ability to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, per the expansion draft rules.

If the Avs went that route, they would likely protect the following forwards:

  • Nathan MacKinnon
  • Matt Duchene
  • Gabe Landeskog
  • Matt Nieto
  • Sven Andrighetto
  • Mikhail Grigorenko
  • And either Carl Soderberg, Blake Comeau or Joe Colborne

Then, they could choose to expose two of the three forwards they don’t protect at the seven spot. All three are signed for at least next season, and Soderberg is signed for the next three after this season.

The three defensemen the Avs protect would obviously be the following:

  • Tyson Barrie
  • Erik Johnson
  • Nikita Zadorov

However, as I said, it is more likely that Francois Beauchemin doesn’t waive his no-movement clause, and that the Avs are stuck with the eight skaters and one goaltender option.

That would obviously leave the Avs with a tricky situation as to who they should protect at the fourth forward spot.

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So, they need to start exploring options to trade Mikhail Grigorenko or Matt Nieto. At this point, I don’t really care if they expose Colborne, Comeau or Soderberg.

However, both Nieto and Grigorenko are valuable to the team either as assets or as players on next year’s roster. They can’t just let either of them go for free if Beauchemin decides he doesn’t want to waive his no-movement clause.

How to Trade Either Mikhail Grigorenko or Matt Nieto

Grigorenko definitely has the higher value as a trade asset because he’s so young and so full of potential.

However, Nieto still has a lot of value as a third line asset, and the Avs essentially acquired him for free. So, trading him for assets is not a bad idea.

At this point, it’s not bad business for the Avs to trade them both, especially if they are going to be forced to expose both during the expansion draft.

Essentially, it’s in their best interest to consolidate their assets in this scenario and hold onto the asset with the highest upside.

Which means, include Grigorenko in a big trade to get the deal done. Or, include Nieto in a deal to get the deal done. Or, include both players in a deal to get the deal done. Finally, they could do separate deals with both players to acquire draft picks and prospects.

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It’s simple really, get the best value you can for what you can’t afford to lose for free. The Avs didn’t do that with Paul Stastny, and they learned from it with Ryan O’Reilly.

The Blues realized that they would lose Kevin Shattenkirk for free if they didn’t trade him before the deadline, so they enacted a trade to make sure they got value for him.

Losing Shattenkirk may have been detrimental to their playoff hopes (which it hasn’t been so far), but they traded him for assets in an attempt to get the best value for what they knew they would lose, anyway.

Grigs and Nieto need to be in the same boat if the Avs can’t find a way to get rid of Beauchemin’s no-movement clause.


Time is short folks, and Andrighetto has only had a short time with the Avalanche to this point. However, he’s shown a propensity to play in the top six to a higher degree than Grigs or Nieto, and the Avs need to take advantage of that.

Right now, the best way to take advantage of Ghetto’s ability is to explore trades that involve Grigorenko and Nieto.

If they don’t figure out a way to deal both players, then they will be victimized yet again by their lack of clarity with who is on their roster.

Grigorenko is still valuable as a trade asset, and Nieto — because he was free — is almost even more valuable on the trade market as well.

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Obviously there are a lot of other mitigating factors for the Avs to consider. For example, if the Avs trade Matt Duchene before the expansion draft, they can choose to protect Andrighetto and Grigorenko, if the defenseman they acquire is not eligible for the expansion draft.

The Avs could also choose to move one of the defenseman on their roster they currently plan on protecting. That kind of maneuver would also alleviate expansion draft pressure.

All in all, the Avs need to figure out a way to utilize the assets they have, to acquire the best valuable possible. Whether that involves keeping each asset and using them on the roster next year, or moving said asset(s) for draft picks and prospects, is still yet to be determined.

However, Andrighetto is currently the most valuable asset. So, whatever the Avs choose to do, their plans need to surround holding onto Andrighetto.