Sven Andrighetto has been the most impressive Colorado Avalanche forward since the trade deadline, and he will be protected in the expansion draft because of his performance.
The Colorado Avalanche really have no choice but to protect Sven Andrighetto in the expansion draft this summer.
He now has 12 points in 15 games for the Avalanche. And, he made yet another play in Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild to remind the Avalanche brass why they have to protect him (more on that later).
The point is, the Avs simply cannot afford to let him go. So, if it comes down to a sticky situation between Ghetto, Mikhail Grigorenko and Matt Nieto, the other two will be the odd men out.
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Matt Nieto looks like a reliable third line winger, and Grigorenko could be the same at the center position. However, both are expendable because there are men to replace them.
Grigs does not look like he’s going to develop into a top six forward, and the Avs can let some other team take the chance on him, either via trade, or if he’s taken in the expansion draft.
Besides, with the emergence of J.T. Compher, his services are no longer required.
Ghetto can take his would-be wing spot in the top six as well.
Meanwhile, Matt Nieto was a free acquisition, so trading him is unlikely, but he’s also not likely to be taken by the Vegas Golden Knights if he’s exposed. Even if he is, A.J. Greer can fill his role on the third line.
Ghetto is the hot ticket, and the Avs need to take advantage of him in the top six.
Sven Andrighetto is Earning a Permanent Role in the Top Six
The most amazing and promising thing about the performance of Sven Andrighetto is that he is earning a role in the top six.
The Avs are desperate for top six forward help, but with Ghetto proving he can play there, suddenly the Avs look to have hope for a formidable top six next season:
- Nathan MacKinnon
- Mikko Rantanen
- Tyson Jost
- Sven Andrighetto
- Gabe Landeskog
- Whoever they draft
Notice I didn’t include Matt Duchene’s name. That’s because he’s likely to get traded this offseason.
It’s not entirely implausible for the Avs to ice a legitimate playoff contender next season. If they are able to trade Duchene for a top tier defenseman, then it could definitely happen.
If they’re finding it hard to trade Duchene, then they should absolutely include Grigorenko in the trade to get the deal done. They could even consider including Chris Bigras.
The point is, when a player is able to make passes like the one below without even thinking about it, you don’t let that skill go for free:
Not only does he knock the puck out of the air, straight onto his stick, but he has the presence of mind to throw it immediately up the ice — on the tape of Mikko Rantanen’s stick nonetheless — so Rants can put home a goal on the breakaway.
That’s just a beautiful play, and Ghetto has been making those kinds of plays since he joined the Avs. Ghetto, MacK and Rants have some serious chemistry, and an awesome line name to boot — GhettoMacKRants.
I’d love to see what that line could do with a full season together.
Sven Andrighetto fits the future mold of the Avalanche perfectly — speed and skill. Mikhail Grigorenko, on the other hand, has often been criticized for his skating ability.
Make no mistake, this is a battle for a roster spot between Grigs and Ghetto, and so far Andrighetto is the clear frontrunner.
Sure, the Avalanche would love to hold onto both players because Grigs is still only 22 years old, but Francois Beauchemin is not going to get traded.
I’m not even sure if Grigs knows his job is on the line, but he sure isn’t playing like it is. Meanwhile, Andrighetto is playing like each and every game might be his last game in the NHL.
He’s earning his right to play on the top line, and the more he proves he can handle those minutes, the more he proves he’s ready to be offered a contract this summer.
Furthermore, he’ll come cheap as well, as he’ll need to prove that his end of the season performance was no fluke. The Avalanche could probably offer Ghetto a bridge contract of three years for two million or even cheaper. That’s good value.
Time will tell what the Avs plan to do with respect to the expansion draft. However, Andrighetto is clearly going to be protected if the Avs can’t move Beauchemin.