Colorado Avalanche: Center Position Set for the Team

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) sets up for a face-off during the NHL hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes on December 23, 2017 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ (Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) sets up for a face-off during the NHL hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes on December 23, 2017 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ (Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche have set their sites on who they want to be representing them down the middle this season, and it’s not too shocking.

The Colorado Avalanche conducted their media day today when the veterans showed up for physicals.

As Jared Bednar pointed out, the forward line is stacked. In fact, he called it the deepest they’ve ever been under his tenure. He also mentioned it would be hard to crack the lineup.

Well, he also seems to have the center position fairly settled. No surprise, Nathan MacKinnon is the first line center. It should also be no surprise that the newly-acquired Nazem Kadri is the second-line center.

Likewise, the fourth-line center shouldn’t be a shocker — Pierre-Edaourd Bellemare,  whom Colorado acquired in free agency for that position.  So, the only real question was who would be the third-line center.

Spoiler alert: It’s J.T. Compher.

In a previous post, I pondered who would be on the third line. I finally settled on Compher.

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I’d say great minds think alike, but we all know the first time Bednar cuts Jost’s ice time I’m going to lose my marbles. So, moving on.

None of the other aspects of the lines have been set yet. To be honest, I’m surprised Bednar even let that much come out. However, he did mention one other tidbit, and it’s concerning the elephant in the room.

Now, I know the sports reporters are only doing their due diligence in asking everyone from Bednar to the water boy how they feel about the Mikko Rantanen situation even though they knew everyone, most especially the water boy, was practicing their non-committal response in the mirror last night. However, they did get out of Bednar that, if Rantanen doesn’t start the season with Colorado, they’re thinking of tapping Andre Burakovsky for the job.

Holy moly. Well, there you go, Burky. That’s the chance of all chances.

Of course, we’ve also seen that not work so well in the past. While a player of Nathan MacKinnon’s ilk can elevate the play of someone else, he needs someone at least partially as talented as himself to make magic. That’s Rantanen.

The Colorado Avalanche did release their training camp roster:

I’m not going to delve into it too deeply because it’s mostly the prospects we already examined for the Rookie Faceoff and our veterans. I am going to draw attention to one thing — the goalies. Here’s who we’re running with in order:

  • Philipp Grubauer (rookie starter)
  • Pavel Francouz (rookie)
  • Adam Werner (AHL rookie)
  • Hunter Miska (AHL contract)
  • Trent Miner (unsigned)

That deserves at least a hoo-boy. Grubauer worked wonders for us all season, but he always had Semyon Varlamov to back him up just in case. I’d be really surprised if Colorado didn’t use camp and the first couple preseason games to evaluate whether they need another backup.

dark. Next. 5 Questions for Training Camp

So, going back to the centers — I like it. I like the depth displayed there. I think the Colorado Avalanche have their centers in a proper row, and they should be good until Bednar and Co. start mixing up the lines.

The Colorado Avalanche training camp proper starts bright and early tomorrow. Look also for a roundup of the best content from Media Day — the Avs PR team really hit it out of the park this season.