Colorado Avalanche Matt Duchene trade talks have heated up, and one potential destination could still be the New York Islanders.
The Colorado Avalanche are going to trade center Matt Duchene, and it looks like it’s going to be sooner rather than later.
The 26-year-old center was a notable absence from the optional captain’s skate the Avalanche have been holding at their regular practice facility, Family Sports Center. That’s given the idea that he might hold out from attending training camp with the Avs.
According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, hasn’t exactly denied the possibility. When asked whether Duchene planned to attend training camp, which starts next week, Brisson remarked, “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”
Well, that’s not ideal, not at all. Especially considering Duchene was just in Vail, Colorado, for a wedding.
In any case, all of this has gotten the rumor mongers stirred up with talk of a trade. Recently I jumped in on conjecture by fellow FanSided blog Eye on Isles about Matt Duchene going to the New York Islanders. As always, opponents were downplaying Duchene’s worth. Once I pointed out his value, Eye on Isles coughed up the following offer:
Now, what’s interesting about this is that both Adam Peleck and Mitchell Vande Sompel are defensemen — the usual ask has been an offensive prospect. Nonetheless, let’s examine how this trade could work for the Avalanche.
Weight: 210 pounds
NHL Experience: 53 games
As you can see by his stats, Adam Pelech is a big boy, very much ideal in size for the NHL. He’s not known for being overly physical, but all that bulk does give him the bonus of being hard to move off the puck.
Pelech also isn’t as much of an offensive threat, but he’s a dependable puck mover. He could work some on his offensive prowess to become more of a two-way defenseman. But he does show good positioning.
Mitchell Vande Sompel
Weight: 192 pounds
NHL Experience: 0
Mitchell Vande Sompel is a little bit the opposite of Pelech. Vande Sompel is smallish, but he’s known as an offensive defenseman. He has great stick work and sees the ice well.
What sets Vande Stompel apart is his skating. He’s very mobile and agile with good edge work. Yet he’s also strong for one on the slighter side. The 20-year old also does a great job of quarterbacking the power play.
Fit with the Colorado Avalanche
Naturally the Colorado Avalanche can use all the help on the blueline they can get. Vande Sompel just signed his entry-level contract, so he’ll need to see some development time in the AHL.
Pelech isn’t exactly poised to make a huge impact at the NHL level. However, he does have NHL experience and can be a good depth defenseman, perhaps on the third pairing.
The other part of the offer is a second rounder in the 2018 NHL Draft. The offer was the pick the Islanders got from the Calgary Flames as part of a convoluted trade that involved Travis Hamonic. The rationale for offering that pick specifically was “They’ll be worse than us.” (Which is probably true.)
That’s not a huge immediate return for a player of Matt Duchene’s caliber. The hope would be that Vande Sompel pans out and they can get a steal with their extra second rounder. In the meantime, they get a little journeyman help on the blueline.
I don’t love this trade — I’d rather Colorado get a forward prospect like Mathew Barzal or Josh Ho-Sang over Pelech. One of those players might actually have a chance to make the NHL next season. Plus, Colorado is going to need some help up front if they lose one of their best forwards in trade.
When. Like I said at the beginning of this post, the Colorado Avalanche trading Matt Duchene before the start of the season seems almost inevitable.