Colorado Avalanche: Standout Players at Burgundy and White

DENVER, CO - MARCH 29: J.T. Compher
DENVER, CO - MARCH 29: J.T. Compher /

Colorado Avalanche prospects and other hopefuls worked to distinguish themselves at the intra-squad Burgundy and White scrimmage.

The Colorado Avalanche held their  annual Burgundy and White game today at Denver University’s Magness Arena. The coaching staff kept marquee players our of the mix — which I somewhat understand, but it’s still disappointing. That did allow fans to get a good look at the prospects and even veterans fighting for a position.

A lot of players brought their A-game, clearly gunning for a spot. A continued standout is A.J. Greer. He has come to the preseason polished and ready to agitate until he gets under some skin.

J.T. Compher sure isn’t letting any moss grow under him. He was moving his feet the whole game. Plus, he’s not afraid to stand up for himself. At one point, defenseman Sergei Boikov ran at Compher. J.T. responded with a good smack at the back of Boikov’s calf. He also scored two goals on Semyon Varlamov, pretty much the only marquee player out there.

Defenseman Andrei Mironov was using his smooth, hulking stride to separate himself from the rest of the pack. It’s interesting how confident he looks on the smaller ice surface considering he’s always been playing on the European ice.

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He’s another player who was moving his feet all game — boy, it’s good to see that. He also has a bomb of a slapshot that will definitely come in handy down the line.

Though he’s not a prospect, Nail Yakupov knows he has to earn his spot in the lineup. And he’s playing like a man who knows this is probably his last chance. I liked him with Matt Duchene at camp, but Duchene was one of the marquee players who sat out the game.

Yakupov was all over the ice — like that former coach said, as if he was being chased by a swarm of bees. And he was showing why he was the first-overall in his draft year. He’s got some hands that allow him to pass and get off a quick shot.

Speaking of guys who know it might be their last shot, that’s the boat Duncan Siemens is in, too. After playing pro for five years and only getting into four NHL games, he’s clearly pushing for a spot. He’s a stay-at-home defenseman, so he wasn’t jumping up into the play too much, but he’s clearly developed into his best self.

One misstep for prospects came in defenseman Chris Bigras. He’s clearly gunning for a roster spot, but there are definitely plays he’d want to take back. He lost the puck at the blue line a couple times, which is not something the Avalanche need more of. He also got caught flat-footed a time or two. In a game in which so many players were roving all over the ice, that’s not the way he wants to be remembered.

Next: Projecting SAR Forward Lines

The Colorado Avalanche coaching staff are surely already forming their opinions. There are likely to be a round of cuts before the first preseason game on Tuesday. At first blush, I’d say all the players mentioned in this post are safe along with Nicolas Meloche and Anton Lindholm.