Jonathan Drouin extension with Colorado Avalanche could still be a bargain in the end

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets
Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche have seen Jonathan Drouin step up significantly as of late following a slow start of his first season with the team. Drouin seems a lot more comfortable and confident in his abilities compared to when he first arrived. Although many wanted him to jump right in and click with Nathan MacKinnon right away, it took plenty of time for that to happen.

It appears he has arrived.

Drouin has six points over his last five games and has 14 multi-point games for the team this season. I think that a mistake some fans have made is expecting Drouin to be a top scorer on the team, which already consists of those guys. That just isn’t necessarily Drouin’s role and that’s okay.

Head Coach Jared Bednar is still experimenting a little bit with different line combinations.

Drouin has been with the first line consistently since March 26th against the Montreal Canadiens. As someone who used to be not that exciting to watch or impressive on the ice early on, Drouin has stepped up his game. All it takes is some time and practice to improve your game, and that's exactly what Drouin has fought through.

This season, Drouin is making $825k. While I think that he deserves a raise, I think that it will come in the form of a deal that will be easy on the salary cap while adding several years to his deal. That’s really what makes the most sense in my opinion.

The Avalanche still have to decide on who else to extend or re-sign, and I know that they already have an idea of who those players might be and the range of how much each of those players could be signed for, including Drouin.

I don’t expect Drouin to cost a lot at all. I would think that the team would try and sign him to somewhere between a $2M-$2.5M AAV deal. That would allow them to make a few other moves in the process. According to Spotrac, they currently are predicted to have just over $9 million to spend next season.

I don’t know how much the Colorado Avalanche or any other team for that matter value Drouin, but I think that he may have earned himself an extended stay in Colorado.