With a disastrous season winding down, the Colorado Avalanche called up two more young guns, defenseman Duncan Siemens and forward Rocco Grimaldi.
The Colorado Avalanche continued their push towards a younger roster on Monday, as they recalled Duncan Siemens (23) and Rocco Grimaldi (24) from the San Antonio Rampage. As the season comes to a close, management must have thought “why not?”.
Siemens being recalled is especially noteworthy, as the Avs drafted him 11th overall back in 2011. The young defenseman received positive reviews in the preseason from head coach Jared Bednar, but ultimately failed to make the opening-night roster.
While it’s true defensemen often take significantly longer to develop than forwards, many expected Siemens to make the jump to the NHL far sooner, especially being a first-round pick. Instead, he has been leap-frogged over by the likes of Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras, while Siemens continued to languish in the minors.
Still, the Avalanche showed they still had some faith in the 2011 pick when they signed him to a one-year deal this past offseason. As the year comes to a close, coaches are likely evaluating if he has a future with the team.
However, if Siemens can’t impress in these remaining four games, his situation does not look promising. In his 69 games with the San Antonio Rampage this year, Siemens has registered a measly six points, while registering 88 penalty minutes, according to the Rampage.
This lack of production is especially embarassing given that Rampage defensemen Chris Bigras, Sergei Boikov, Anton Lindholm, Cody Corbett, Eric Gelinas, Mat Clark, and Matt Lashoff have all played fewer AHL games than Siemens, but have still managed to out-produce him.
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If there’s one redeeming number for Siemens, though, it’s his +/-, which is a +2. This puts him above the aforementioned defensemen, quite often by a large margin.
The AHL doesn’t have much in the way of analytics, so we can’t look too deeply into this number, but we can at least hope it means that Siemens has a stellar defensive game that negates his lack of offensive production.
Overall, things don’t look great for Siemens, but we’ll be sure to get a better look as he hits NHL ice for the second time in his life.
Rocco Grimaldi, however, could be another story.
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Grimaldi came to the Avs from the Florida Panthers this offseason in exchange for goaltender Reto Berra. Since joining the Rampage, he has put up 29 goals and 22 assists in 68 games, a solid showing.
This offensive production could help jump-start the Avalanche, and perhaps earn Grimaldi a roster spot next year, as he will be a restricted free agent.
Despite Grimaldi’s offensive numbers being solid, he also ‘boasts’ the worst +/- on the Rampage, sitting at -20. This may raise concerns about his defensive side of the game, so it will be interesting to see how the young winger handles the NHL level.
Despite their flaws, it’s exciting to see the younger guys get a shot a the end of the year. Hopefully, they’ll give us all some hope for next season.