Colorado Avalanche: Does Valeri Nichushkin make the team?

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 23: Valeri Nichushkin #43 of the Dallas Stars handles the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the American Airlines Center on January 23, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 23: Valeri Nichushkin #43 of the Dallas Stars handles the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the American Airlines Center on January 23, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Valeri Nichushkin can be a Colorado Avalanche front line winger. He just has to become more of a team player.

The Colorado Avalanche signed free agent, winger Valeri Nichushkin, in August 2019, but will he make the cut for the 19-20 season?

One of the things we know is NHL teams have four different roster limits. The final game roster has to consist of 20 players. The 20 dressed players consist of two goal tenders and 18 skaters, including both forwards and defensemen.

Another roster limit is 50 — the amount of players a team can have signed between the NHL and AHL.

More than half the  Colorado Avalanche players, 26 of the 49 contracted players, had contracts that ended June 30th. What does that mean for this season?  The Colorado Avalanche could contract 27 players to reach their 50 player limit.

The roster for the Anaheim Rookie Tournament, which is taking place this weekend September 7th – September 10th, consists of a 28-man roster. The Colorado Avalanche has a lot of prospects.

Let’s break it down further. Out of the 17 forwards competing for a spot on the team, six of them are natural centers. This means Nichushkin, a winger, is only competing with 11 players.

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Out of those 11 players, four of them are left-wingers. Nichushkin is only competing with seven other players for a spot on the team. Since Nichuskin is not a rookie, he has a bit of an edge. That is not to discredit the talent of our rookies this year.

Nichushkin is a right-winger and has the potential to be our first line winger. He has been in the NHL for four active seasons coming from the Dallas Stars. However, within those four seasons he has played 223 games during regular season and 17 playoff games. He has only scored 23 goals in regular season, for all four seasons he has been active in the NHL. He had no goals scored last season.

Nichushkin is a great power forward and being 6-4 and 210 pounds he can bully his way to the net to score. However, that doesn’t always work, as shown by his stats. He needs to acknowledge the team, pay attention to who is open, and improve his passing game. The Colorado Avalanche needs a team player.

Nichushkin has areas to improve on. However, I think the Colorado Avalanche can shape him into a great player. By watching his highlights it can be seen that he has calculated movements, he understands the game of hockey, and he’s a fast skater. All of that can make him a great asset.

Next. Did the Avs do Enough in the Offseason?. dark

Valeri Nichushkin has great potential, hopefully the Colorado Avalanche can help him bring out his skills and talents and become a great player for the team.