Colorado Avalanche: 3 Surprising Players Might Make the Team

The Colorado Avalanche are continuing to whittle down their rosters. However, three players are making surprisingly strong bids to stay with the NHL team.

The Colorado Avalanche, like all the other teams, are refining their roster. Opening night is about 10 days away. The end of the preseason happens with their final preseason game on Saturday, September 28. That’s about the time they’ll have to have their final 22-player roster set.

To that end, the team re-assigned eight players yesterday:

  • Mark Alt, defenseman
  • Erik Condra, right wing
  • Kevin Davis, defenseman
  • Ty Lewis, left wing
  • Anton Lindholm, defenseman
  • Nicolas Meloche, defenseman
  • Peter Tischke, defenseman
  • Adam Werner, goalie

All of them will report to the Colorado Eagles. Just one bit of tricky business, though — Mark Alt and Anton Lindholm have to clear waivers first. At the time of writing, they hadn’t been picked up.

So, the Colorado Avalanche now have 39 players on the roster, meaning 17 more will have to be reassigned. Only about nine of those are obvious to me:

  • Dan Renouf, defenseman
  • Jayson Megna, center
  • Logan O’Connor, right wing
  • Hunter Miska, goalie
  • Jacob MacDonald, defenseman
  • TJ Tynan, center
  • Colin Campbell, right wing
  • Nick Henry, right wing
  • Michael Joly, right wing

In the time I was writing this, two more players got cut. Henry is heading to the Eagles. Campbell was released from his PTO. The roster is now down to 37.

The other eight cuts might be a little challenging. However, there are three players who are going to make decision-making downright difficult.

Conor Timmins

Defenseman Conor Timmins was supposed to have a nice training camp to make up from missing 16 months of competitive hockey while he recovered from concussion symptoms. The hope was that he wouldn’t show any symptoms and be good to go for the Colorado Eagles this year.

Yet here he is picking up where he left off two years ago — challenging for a roster spot. Of course, he got that beautiful goal in the game in Minnesota:

What skill is on display there. You see why he was scouted to go in the first round his draft year.

Besides that goal, he’s been playing fearlessly and with good hockey smarts. The only rusty part of his game is timing, and that may ultimately be what has him skating with the Eagles before opening night. However, no question he’d be the first call-up.

Calle Rosen

If I’d been writing this post before the preseason, I would have completely written defenseman Calle Rosen off. In fact, if you look at some of those earlier posts, I probably did just that.

In fact, I was a little annoyed that he was part of the trade. It felt like Nazem Kadri for Tyson Barrie was good — Alexander Kerfoot for Rosen one-sided.

However, he’s been solid in the preseason. It was thought the Maple Leafs expected him to make the NHL roster this season, so maybe he was a bit of a steal.

He has good chemistry with Timmins. I don’t want to say Timmins making the NHL roster makes or breaks Rosen’s chance, but chemistry on defensive pairs is certainly important. And I’m sure the coaching staff is looking at that.

Shane Bowers

This is the real surprise on the list for me. He trained with Nathan MacKinnon in the offseason in Nova Scotia. I don’t know if that’s what did it, but he’s definitely taken the next step in his game.

And the coaching staff is noticing. Here’s what Jared Bednar said of him:

“I thought he was excellent [tonight]. Bigger, stronger, faster than he was last year. You can see his personality — you saw it right away in the rookie tournament, involved every shift. He’s a good player, a really good player. I really like what we’ve seen from him so far.”

That’s high praise, and he deserves it. He looks like he’s earning a shot at the NHL.

Next: Thoughts on the Preseason Defense

Unfortunately, for Bowers and Timmins, it might come down to the fact that neither would have to clear waivers while the players they might replace would. I’m not sure about Rosen, but I believe he’d have to clear, and that may be a deciding factor in his case.

Regardless, it’s exciting to see how stacked the Colorado Avalanche are, especially on defense.

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