3 Colorado Avalanche players who have surprised this season

Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers
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3 Colorado Avalanche players who have stepped up this season: Logan O’Connor

Logan O’Connor has been a surprise and has directly led to Avalanche success this season. Initially penciled in as a bottom six forward, O’Connor showed tenacity and physicality early on, sticking up for teammates on occasion as well as adding unexpected offense from the bottom-six group. Although his season was unfortunately cut short due to injury after just 57 games, he provided a lot of energy for the team and earned the trust of Coach Bednar in important situations as he became a leader.  

His speed helped him kill penalties well, and he showed a knack for seizing opportunities, scoring three shorthanded goals this season. The Texas native scored 25 points across those games, which had he played a full season like the previous two years (sans one game), he would have blown away his career highs. O’Connor scored 13 goals this season, a four-goal jump over his previous career high of nine set last season. He did this in just 57 games, 25 games less than last season. O’Connor also had 12 assists, which surely would have netted him a career high, as he only needed five more to match it. His +13 plus/minus rating was a career high, and he’s had positive numbers in that category for several years now. 

O’Connor earned his most time on ice per game this season, at 14:57, and had four game-winning goals this season. His shooting percentage was the highest it’s ever been at 15.3 percent, so he got some luck this season. Even if that is the case, Avalanche faithful will take that, as he was a key cog for this team and was missed when he was lost to injury.