Colorado Avalanche: Evaluating the Return for Matt Duchene

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 11: Matt Duchene
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 11: Matt Duchene /
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colorado avalanche
SAN JOSE, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Samuel Girard /

Samuel Girard

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 162 pounds
Age: 19
NHL Stats: 5 games, 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists)

This is probably the crown jewel of the trade, the Nikita Zadorov of the Ryan O’Reilly trade. (Because it looks like GM Joe Sakic made almost exactly the same trade.)

Samuel Girard is the new style of defenseman — he’s a small puck-mover who skates well. Elite Prospects calls him “a flashy offensive defenseman who takes advantage of opportunities.” The site considers him a hard worker with an excellent release. However, it’s said he needs to work on his defensive stick work more.

Hockey Forecaster considers him a “natural” quarterback to the powerplay and observes “He is smooth as silk with the puck on his stick.” The site also calls him a “cerebral player.” However, the site observes that he’s “significantly undersized” and that leads to his getting knocked off the puck too easily.

Girard is in the first year of his entry-level contract which has a slide clause. This states that, because of his age, he can play up to nine NHL games and not use up a year of his contract. His contract will “slide,” or extend by a year. (It’s the Mikko Rantanen thing.)

If Girard plays 10 or more games in the NHL, that burns off a year of his contract — and Nashville has already used up five of those games. According to Corey Francis of Predlines, that may have been a reason Nashville was willing to give him up.

This can be a good return — if he doesn’t go all Nikita Zadorov, failing to live up to expectations.