Colorado Avalanche: 5 Players Who Must Work Together in Erik Johnson’s Absence

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 18: Erik Johnson
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 18: Erik Johnson /
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DENVER, CO – APRIL 04: Duncan Siemens /

Duncan Siemens, Shut-down Play

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If you imagined a rookie on this list, that rookie was probably not Duncan Siemens. You were more likely to imagine Samuel Girard. However, Girard and Johnson are very different styles of players. And Girard isn’t just a rookie — he’s a 19-year-old rookie. He’s already filling more of a role than most 19-year-old rookie defensemen.

Siemens, on the other hand, is 24 years old and might well be striding into his peak years. I’m guessing 274 AHL games isn’t what the Avs had in mind when they drafted Siemens 11th-overall in 2011, but Duncan is still a relatively seasoned player at professional hockey.

And what Siemens excels at is shut-down play and being nasty. He only has six NHL games, counting last night. He knows this is his best chance for making a case for being an NHL player — as a nasty shut-down guy.

This might not be quite as effective as Johnson’s finesse defensive game. However, a more concentrated level of this play can help the Avs out a lot.