Colorado Avalanche Youth so Close to Milestones

DENVER, CO - MARCH 30: Mikko Rantanen
DENVER, CO - MARCH 30: Mikko Rantanen /

The youngsters for the Colorado Avalanche are close to achieving some milestones. If they do so, the team is likely to make the playoffs.

The Colorado Avalanche are the youngest team in the NHL.

We hear that over and over, but sometimes it’s used as a reason to justify losses. Sometimes it’s used as a caveat so we don’t get our expectations too high.

However, when you have a young team that’s “growing up together,” you have milestones to count. I recently wrote about some milestones that one of our rookies, Tyson Jost, has achieved:

Related Story: Josty's First Multi-Goal Game

In addition to his first-ever two-goal night, Jost has recorded two multi-point nights — including against tomorrow’s adversary, the San Jose Sharks.

Though I didn’t catalog it separately, fellow rookie J.T. Compher also has three multi-point nights this season, including one against those Sharks (1 goal, 1 assist).

Speaking of rookies, Alexander Kerfoot has been the most successful this season. He leads all rookies with 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists). He’s fifth on the team for scoring, behind only the top line and offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie. And if you look at those stats, he needs just one goal to record 20, matching what Mikko Rantanen did last season.

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

Colorado Avalanche

Going along with rookies, Sameul Girard is quietly becoming our power play specialist. His lone goal with the Colorado Avalanche came on the power play. More impressive, 12 of his 17 assists (and 19 points) have come on the power play.

I’m beginning to prefer him for the quarterback of the power play over Tyson Barrie just because Girard is more responsible defensively.

I can’t rag on Barrie too much, though. The 26-year-old (making him the veteran on this list) has already racked up a career season. He has a career-high 55 points, and he’s scored 13 goals for the third time in his five-year NHL career. (In case you’re wondering, six of his goals are power play tallies, and he has an additional 22 power play assists).

Moving on to the top line. Captain Gabriel Landeskog is the next-oldest player on this list at 25. He recorded his first and second NHL hat trick this season. While his points total is a little shy of his career high from the Golden Why Not Us season (59 to 65), those 59 points tie his second-best season, 2014-15. What’s more, he’s just two goals away from matching his career-high 26 goals, also from 2013-14.

In Mikko Rantanen’s sophomore year, the 21-year-old has already eclipsed his rookie numbers and then some. He’s almost doubled his points — from 38 to 82. In fact, four points, and he will have doubled his production. He’s also just two goals shy of reaching 30.

As for our superstar, 22-year-old Nathan MacKinnon has already had a career season. He’s eclipsed his best points total by 39 (94 to 53). He hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his five-year career. And now he’s just two goals shy of hitting 40.

Next: Avs Get 5 Great Goals vs Chicago

The Colorado Avalanche have two games left. If Nathan Mackinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen get their two goals, and Alexander Kerfoot gets his one, to reach their milestones… the Avs will probably win. Chuck in a goal for Barrie to surpass his career-high, and a couple more multi-point nights for the rookies, or at least another power play point for Girard… and the Avs might just make the playoffs.

This is the youth’s chance to shine even more than they already have.