Colorado Avalanche Guide to the 2018 Development Camp

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 06: Colorado Avalanche Josh Anderson (76) and Will Butcher (64) workout during a power skating session by skating instructor Tracy Tutton.  The Avalanche held it's annual development camp July 6, 2016 at Family Sports Center. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 06: Colorado Avalanche Josh Anderson (76) and Will Butcher (64) workout during a power skating session by skating instructor Tracy Tutton.  The Avalanche held it's annual development camp July 6, 2016 at Family Sports Center. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche will hold their annual prospect development camp June 28 to July 2, culminating in a scrimmage in Fort Collins.

The Colorado Avalanche are keeping with last year’s tradition of holding the annual prospect development camp the week after the draft. Prior to last year, they held the camp in the first week of July. However, this year’s camp dates are June 28 to July 2.

Camp participants, who are mostly Avs draftees with a smattering of amateur tryout players, will report for camp on Thursday to undergo physical and medical testing. Conditioning is a large part of Jared Bednar’s system, so I imagine there will be some level of testing for that.

Details of On-Ice Sessions

The Colorado Avalanche prospect development camp will feature four on-ice sessions at the Family Sports Center in Centennial. Here is the schedule:

  • Friday, June 29: Four groupings, 8 am to 12:45 pm MT
  • Friday, June 29: All groups, 3 pm MT
  • Saturday, June 30: Four groupings, 8 am to 12:45 pm MT
  • Sunday, July 1: Four groupings, 8 am to 12:45 pm MT

On Sunday evening, the Avalanche will host a three-on-three tournament at the EPIC (Blue Arena) in Fort Collins starting at 5:30 pm MT.

All of the on-ice sessions are free and open to the public as their camps usually are. In previous years there haven’t been a ton of fans at prospect development camp, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Concerning the July 2 events, the Avs have done different team-building and fitness activities in the past.

Prospect Development Camp Roster

The Colorado Avalanchye released their full roster for the development camp yesterday:

Here’s a breakdown of the roster according to how the Avs acquired the player and what number he will wear at camp.

Players the Avs drafted:

  • #48 Cam Morrison, left wing
  • #50 Martin Kaut, right wing
  • #55 Igor Shvyrev*, center
  • #56 Cale Makar, defenseman
  • #60 Justus Annunen, goalie
  • #61 Petr Kvaca, goalie
  • #68 Conor Timmins*, defenseman
  • #70 Nick Henry, right wing
  • #72 Denis Smirnov, left wing
  • #73 Travis Barron*, left wing
  • #74 Adam Werner, goalie
  • #75 Tyler Weiss, left wing
  • #76 Josh Anderson*, defenseman
  • #78 Nikilai Kovalenk, right wing
  • #80 Brandon Saigeon, center
  • #94 Samp Ranta, left wing

*These players have already been signed to their entry-level contracts.

Two players, Danila Zhuravlyov (defenseman) and Shamil Shmakov (goalie), from this year’s draft are not attending the development camp. Only one player from last year’s draft, Nicky Leivermann (defenseman) is not attending.

In addition to the above players, center Shane Bowers, wearing #67, will be in attendance. He was part of the Matt Duchene trade.

Undrafted players signed to entry-level contracts:

  • #39 Pavel Francouz, goalie
  • #65 Ty Lewis, left wing
  • #71 Josh Dickinson, center

Amateur camp invitees:

  • #63 Logan O’Connor, center
  • #79 Turner Ottenbreit, defenseman
  • #82 Devin Davis, defenseman
  • #84 Sean Strange, defenseman
  • #85 Vladislav Kotkov, left wing
  • #86 Matthew Boucher, left wing
  • #89 Cole Reinhardt, left wing
  • #90 Robbie Holmes, left wing
  • #93 Alex Breton, defenseman

As noted above, during the morning sessions the players will be separated into four different groupings. In past years, it’s been a hodge podge — they don’t necessarily break them up according to perceived talent.

Who and What to Watch For

More from Mile High Sticking

I love prospect development camp. Maybe because it’s the last time we get to see real hockey — or hockey on-ice stuff — until September and rookie training camp. There’s also something cool about hockey on the inside when it’s 90 degrees on the outside.

Besides that, though, I love the glimpse we get to see from these young players. Some of them will eventually get to make the team, and it’s a way to see their development.

I’d say first of all, I want to see how the three players Colorado didn’t draft but signed to entry-level contracts look. I’ve seen video of Ty Lewis, but I know only that Pavel Francouz impressed for his native Czech Republic at Worlds. I’m also interested in the rando, Josh Dickinson — he was an early-April signing.

Of the draftees, I’m excited to see our top defensemen from last draft, Cale Makar and Conor Timmins. They have such different styles to offer such a similar skill set. Naturally, I want to get my first look at our first-rounder from this year, Martin Kaut.

Nick Henry and Denis Smirnov are two players from last year’s draft who intrigue me. Nick Henry dropped lower than anticipated. Denis Smirnov was an overage draftee who looked prime to transition to pro.

We all should be keeping an eye on the remaining three goalies, all Avs draftees and all unsigned. They’re the future depth of our team. Justus Annunen should be especially fun because he has extremely chubby cheeks and apparently does everything well:

Finally, this will be our first real good look at Shane Bowers. He was the Senators’ first-round draft pick from last year. He came to the Avalanche as part of the Duchene trade. He recorded 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 40 games at Boston University. He’s expected to return for his sophomore season, meaning this is the only chance we get to see him live. (Cale Makar, too, who’s returning to UMass next year.)

Next: Analysis of Draft Rounds 4 to 7

After prospect development camp, we have just one more order of business for the Colorado Avalanche — Free Agency Frenzy on July 1. There might be a little bit of news about contracts being signed, but mostly we’ll see a couple months of a long, hot summer with no hockey.

Which is why I reiterate that I love prospect development camp.