The Colorado Avalanche should sign defenseman Duncan Siemens and put him on the roster next season. His style of play could be a boon to the team.
The Colorado Avalanche spent a first-round — 11th-overall — draft selection on defenseman Duncan Siemens. However, that’s not why the team needs to keep the little-used blueliner. Rather Siemens’ style can be a complement to the team.
The Colorado Avalanche have spent the past year getting younger, faster and, frankly, smaller. With the exception of last summer’s free agent signings, Patrick Wiercioch (6-foot-5, 202 pounds) and Joe Colborne (6-foot-5, 221 pounds), the team’s acquisitions have mostly been around 6-foot tall and under 200 pounds. All of the acquisitions have been under 25 and known for their skating and skill.
Duncan Siemens (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) doesn’t fit into that mold, except for being 23 years old. Though he was scouted at the time of his draft as #10 among North American skaters, Hockey’s Future described him as “a stay-at-home defenseman with a nasty streak.”
Elite Prospects goes into greater detail:
"“A large defenseman with good skating. Plays very physical. Blocks shots and passes well.”"
However, though Elite Prospects does mention that Siemens has a “good first pass” nowhere do we see “puck-moving defenseman” or a blueliner who “jumps into the play,” which seems to be the new style of defenseman.
Indeed, here’s how Duncan Siemens described himself in a post-game presser:
"“Any time I can take the body, make sure I finish fast and hard. Just try to use my size — that’s how I’m effective.”"
Here’s the thing — you can’t have a roster of 22 players with the exact same skill set and talents. You can be a young, fast, skilled team and still play physical hockey.
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Now, don’t get me wrong — we are past the days of enforcers like Scott Parker and maybe even energy players like Cody McLeod. A player cannot be mostly just a physical force and a fighter. He has to be able to contribute in other ways as well.
This is where Duncan Siemens’ hockey IQ comes into play. He plays smart hockey. He only had three games with the Colorado Avalanche this season, but he didn’t make any glaring mistakes. That’s saying a lot on this year’s team.
What’s more, he was a team guy. He stood up for his fellow Avalanche players. Again, there wasn’t a lot of that going on this year, especially at the end when Siemens got his shot.
Duncan also seems to have that even keel factor that’s been eluding the Colorado Avalanche players this year. He’s seen personal adversity, so he knows how to handle himself. During a pre-game presser, he said the following:
"“Everything happens that much quicker up here obviously than down at the American League, but at the same time, just play. Not to worry about anything else. If you make a mistake, you got to shrug it off. It’s part of the game.”"
The Colorado Avalanche need that kind of fortitude on the team.
Duncan Siemens’ future is very much up in the air. His entry level contract was up last summer, but the Avalanche still offered him another year. However, he’s a restricted free agent again this summer. And he only played those three games with the team.
It would be surprising if the Colorado Avalanche offered Duncan Siemens another contract. However, I was surprised they offered Siemens a contract last summer as well. It seems like there’s just something about Duncan the Avs can’t turn away from.
I hope Colorado not only offers Siemens a contract next year but actually puts him in the lineup on a regular basis. His physicality mixed with a team-first attitude and some good hockey IQ makes him a boon to the team.