Colorado Avalanche: The Ups and Downs of Sam Girard

RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 10: Samuel Girard
RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 10: Samuel Girard /
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DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 25: Samuel Girard /

Samuel Girard Stats

Age: 19 (birthday 5-12-98)
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 162 lbs.
Shoots: Left
Games Played (for Avs): 53
Points: 2 goals, 13 assists

Sam Girard is not a big young man. Though notoriously lists players on the light side, judging by a plain-clothes Girard, 160s is probably pretty accurate:

What’s more, you can see his lack of size a little bit when he does actually get into some physical play. He’s no Tyson Barrie, who’s the same height but a meaty 30 pounds heavier. The hope is that Girard puts on that kind of muscle weight as he actually, you know, grows up.

Interestingly, Girard has played a more physical game than you might expect from one so slight. He’s blocked 53 shots and delivered 32 hits in his 53 games with the Colorado Avalanche. I’m certainly not putting him in bruiser territory, though he’s recorded more hits in 53 games than Barrie has (27) in the same amount of games.

Anyway, on to the actual statistics. Girard has not kept up his pace of scoring as when he was with the Predators — 2 goals 13 assists in 52 Avs games vs. 1 goal, 2 assists in five Preds games. That’s probably not too surprising. While the Predators had the luxury of completely sheltering him, Colorado’s lack of defensive depth (at the time) compounded with injuries meant Girard got some tougher assignments than you would normally expect to see from a 19-year-old d-man.

Indeed, with Colorado, Sam Girard is #10 on the team for average ice time with 17:30. That’s second pairing territory as well as a defenseman who quarterbacks the second power play unit.

And Girard has been doing well with that ice time, even if it doesn’t show up on the scoresheet. He has a CorsiFor of 53.7% and a Relative Corsi of 8.9. Girard is still getting some sheltering, with 66.1% of his starts coming in the offensive zone. However, that’s likely to be the player he’ll always be — no one expects Sam Girard to develop into a shut-down defenseman.

So, let’s look at what kind of defenseman Sam is supposed to become.