Did the Colorado Avalanche just see Ryan Johansen’s stock go up?

What should the Colorado Avalanche do with Ryan Johansen?
Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

When the Colorado Avalanche traded for forward Ryan Johansen, I was excited. He was a guy who I thought could help the team that was without their captain Gabriel Landeskog for who knows how long. I guess I should have checked out his recent production in the league, as he had just 12 goals and 16 assists in 55 games last year with the Nashville Predators. He just passed his goal total from last year and we’re only 57 games into the season.

The issue for me is that Johansen’s production is just very random. In the last four games, he has four points, two coming on Tuesday evening. In one of those games, he had zero. I’m not expecting him—or anyone for that matter—to be as consistent as Nathan MacKinnon (who extended his home point streak on Tuesday), but if you’re paying a guy $8 million, I want him to produce more.

Could we see the Colorado Avalanche swing Johansen for a backup goalie? How about a center? We know what we have in our goaltending right now, and it’s not great. Mind you, I know that some of the goals allowed were not Alexandar Georgiev’s fault. It really hurts him when there are turnovers in their own zone. That’s something that I’m pretty confused about: I figured that the team has been playing alongside each other long enough now where these mistakes would be a lot less.

At this point, Johansen could end up having the Colorado Avalanche feel like trading him makes sense. Earlier this month, Todd Matthews came up with three trade scenarios for the Avalanche to consider to make a playoff push. All three of those scenarios included Johansen.

The team’s cap space situation is a problem, as they only have $466,757 in their LTIR pool right now. Trading Johansen and possibly another player and bringing in someone plus a draft pick could work, but whether or not the team thinks Johansen can improve on a two-goal night will be interesting to monitor.

The 2023-24 NHL trade deadline is Friday, March 8th.

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