The Colorado Avalanche have been cautious — to say the least — with Duncan Siemens; however, he’s finally getting another chance to prove his ability at the NHL level.
The Avs have been looking for a steady stay-at-home defenseman all year, and they had one directly under their noses all along.
Duncan Siemens isn’t going to wow anyone with his offensive instincts. However, he will play consistent and reliable hockey in his own end. He also has a terrific first pass to help players exit the zone, something the Avs have been struggling with this year.
Best of all, Siemens has a mean streak, and will stick up for his teammates. Since Cody McLeod left, the Avs have not had a player ready to drop the gloves at any moment. Siemens will bring that element back to the roster.
For my money, I’d love to see Siemens on the roster next season, which is why the remaining four games are going to be paramount for him.
If anything, he gives the team a reliable defenseman to put in the bottom pairing. Siemen’s is not likely to develop into the minute-muncher the Avs originally drafted him to be.
Nevertheless, he could certainly develop into a good shut-down defenseman who averages 16-18 minutes a night, and plays reliable hockey in his own end.
Duncan Siemens is the Type of Defenseman the Avs are Missing
The Colorado Avalanche have struggled in their own end all year. Their defensemen are constantly out of position, and they’re getting beat in the corners to a bunch of pucks.
That’s where Duncan Siemens can make a difference. He’s a big body at 6 foot 3 and 205 pounds, and he’s not afraid to use it along the boards.
He plays a bruising style, and focuses on taking away passing lanes, before he focuses on his offensive contribution. Most NHL teams have a defenseman like Siemens somewhere in their defensive lineup.
Unfortunately, most of those players also have a higher offensive upside than Siemens. His offensive game hasn’t really translated to the AHL level, so there is no reason to believe that it will at the NHL level. However, if he plays defensively sound hockey, and doesn’t make mistakes in his own end, then there is no reason for him to provide an offensive contribution.
This is the time for Duncan Siemens. His one-year contract will expire at the end of this season. If he wants another contract, then he needs to prove he belongs in the NHL over the course of the next four games.
Languishing in the AHL while you wait for an opportunity to prove you can play at a higher level is not easy. Duncan Siemens has been doing that for the past four years.
He’s watched players like Anton Lindholm and Chris Bigras get called up instead of him. And, he saw the leadership team who drafted him change hands. In other words, Duncan Siemens has run the gamut of why — and how — teams become disinterested in their prospects.
Hopefully he can prove that he belongs in this organization. He has four games to do that, and he will certainly be watched with a close eye. So, good luck to Duncan Siemens!