Sam Girard is the modern style of defensemen for the Colorado Avalanche, one who plies his trade well.
The Colorado Avalanche are on Day 31 of the hockey hiatus, just like the rest of the NHL. Players are still in their home cities have been advised they must stay in quarantine until April 15.
The whole world seems like it’s on hiatus, except for here at Mile High Sticking. We are going to keep up with our coverage. Right now, we’re taking a look at how players were doing before the hockey hiatus.
Here are some of the players we’ve covered so far:
Today, we’re switching back over to defense, Samuel Girard.
Brief History of Sam Girard
The Nashville Predators selected Sam Girard in 2016 with their #47 pick. He signed his entry-level contract in September but returned to play one more season with his major junior team, the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. When their season ended, he joined the AHL Milwaukee Admirals for six games.
Girard made the Predators team out of camp in 2017. He played five games with Nashville, and they started having conversations about whether they’d return him to the AHL or burn a year off his entry-level contract. The question became moot when the Predators included him in a three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators.
Girard made his debut with the Avalanche in the Global Series game against the Ottawa Senators shortly after. He stayed consistently within the team’s lineup afterward. This season, he averages 21:19 of ice time.
Sam Girard Stats with the Colorado Avalanche
Defenseman Sam Girard recorded his first NHL goal and an additional two points with the Nashville Predators. After that, his NHL career has been all about the Colorado Avalanche.
Girard has played a total of 225 games in the NHL — 220 of them with Colorado. He has 12 goals and 72 assists for 84 points in that time — 11 goals and 70 assists for 79 points for the Avs. This season he’s played in all 70 games before the pause.
Over the summer, he signed a seven-year contract extension that kicks in next season. It’s worth $5 million annually.
Evaluation of Sam Girard with the Colorado Avalanche
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The 21-year-old Sam Girard is the new style of defenseman for the NHL. Size doesn’t matter as much anymore which is good — our Girard is only 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. But he’s a talented skated and puck mover.
In fact, his skating has made him famous here. He effects a perfect spin-o-rama that frequently fools defenders. So, Avs fans have started calling him La Tornade, which is French for tornado. The Quebecois even named his dog Tornade.
Earlier in the season, Sam Girard came under some scrutiny. Some fans thought he was under-performing. I did take an in-depth look at his performance in a previous post. Since then, his stats have improved to the point he’s in the positive.
Though Girard has been in the NHL for three seasons, he’s still a young man. And defenseman take notoriously long to develop. The Colorado Avalanche showed their faith in Girard with the contract awarded him.
I believe we should believe in him, too. He has so much skill and talent. And he’s the modern style of defenseman, which the team is committed to building around.