The Colorado Avalanche must be in salary cap compliance with their roster ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline that was set for Monday, October 9, 2023, as the NHL prepares to open the regular season on Tuesday. With the news that Ben Meyers and Sam Malinski are scheduled to join Brad Hunt and Jach Achan and report to the Colorado Eagles to start their season. The final waiver move was forward Riley Tufte, who cleared waivers and will also report to the Eagles. Last but not least, the Avalanche addressed goalie depth by claiming Ivan Prosvetov off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes and will get the opening roster nod to back up Alexander Georgiev while Pavel Francouz continues to recover from an offseason injury repair. Justus Annunen was reassigned to the Colorado Eagles where he will likely resume his role as starter.
Ben Meyers was the early selection for the 4th line center role but was ultimately beaten out by offseason acquisition Fredrik Oloffson. Oloffson fills out the final roster spot, and defenseman-turned-forward, Kurtis MacDermid, will play the role of the odd man off the bench who could play any role that may be asked of him by head coach Jared Bednar. With the roster set, the Colorado Avalanche will look forward to the upcoming season and begin the process of chasing down another playoff run. One that hopefully runs deeper than a first-round exit in seven games.
With players like Ben Meyers, Sam Malinski, and Riley Tufte joining the Colorado Eagles, the Avalanche may have succeeded in refilling their prospect pool and giving reinstated head coach Aaron Schneekloth a competitive team to work with at the AHL Level. Scnheekloth led the ECHL Colorado Eagles to back-to-back Kelly Cup Titles during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons before the Colorado Avalanche made them their official AHL affiliate team. The move to bring the Eagles to the AHL as the team’s affiliate helped remedy the issue of sharing the San Antonio Rampage with the St Louis Blues.
Building up the talent with the Colorado Eagles is key for the organization as the Avalanche continue to deal with minimal space due to salary cap restraints, and having NHL-ready talent to replace future offseason departures creates the potential for a longer dynasty-type window in chasing multiple Stanley Cup titles. While it may be upsetting to see Meyers not get that opening day roster spot, he isn’t far off from earning a call-up, should injuries occur. In a fast-moving, fast-paced system like the Avalanche has, expect to see Meyers, Malinski, and a few others to earn opportunities to contribute this season.