The Colorado Avalanche rookies finished participating in the Rookie Faceoff. Here are some impressions.
The Colorado Avalanche concluded their Rookie Faceoff going 1-2. That record is neither here nor there. The preseason means little, so the rookie tournament means even less.
That said, the rookie tournament, like rookie camp, is a chance for us to get a sneak peak at the Avalanche’s future. Sure, many players will never skate in burgundy and blue beyond the preseason.
Rookie camp and the Rookie Faceoff is where we can start to get a feel for who’s going to fall where in that truth.
First off, I had three questions going into rookie camp:
- Is Timmins healthy enough to play?
- Can Bo Byram make the team?
- Is Martin Kaut ready for the NHL?
Yes, probably, probably not.
To elaborate, we already know Timmins played two of the three games at the Rookie Faceoff, and the one he missed was scheduled so the team could showcase other prospects. He dominated in his first game, when he showed real chemistry with Bowen Byram.
On to the second question, about Byram. He absolutely shined at the rookie tournament. Everyone who watched him was amazed at his talent and skill. Unless he hits a major wall in the regular camp and preseason, I expect to see him play at least a handful of regular season games for Colorado.
For the third, I feel like Kaut needs more development. He also developed real chemistry, in this case with Shane Bowers and Nick Henry. However, those are fellow AHLers, and I think Kaut will benefit on the Eagles by playing with them. He may even benefit enough to be the first call-up for Colorado.
I also wrote three things I’d like to see at the rookie tournament:
- Byram and Timmins pairing
- Standout goalie performance
- Shane Bowers showing he took the next step
Yep, nope, yep.
More from Mile High Sticking
Timmins and Byram only played one game together, the first. They were paired together. And, as I noted, they showed chemistry — and they dominated.
Hunter Miska, Trent Miner, and Adam Werner all made the trip and played at some point. While it might be unfair to say they had bad performances, none of them stood out.
Shane Bowers showed that he took the next step. He played in all three games, and he was a standout. There were some questions about his game after he seemed to regress his second year at college and didn’t shine his few games with the Eagles. However, he’s definitely taken a step forward in his game.
One thing that was very mildly worrisome across the last two games was the Colorado Avalanche had 11 power plays — and failed to convert a single time. Yes, it’s the preseason and just the prospects. But, boy, we don’t want to see that specter rise up again.
The rookies have returned to Colorado. They’ll get a couple off days before joining the vets at regular training camp on Friday.