How the NHL trade deadline helped the Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche are contenders, and they were among the more active teams at the 2024 NHL trade deadline. So how much did they help themselves?
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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The Colorado Avalanche made quite a few blockbuster moves before and at the NHL trade deadline, and they have put themselves in an immaculate spot not just to win the Central Division but to make another deep playoff run. It started on March 1st when they sent Kurtis MacDermid to the New Jersey Devils and got a 2024 seventh-round pick and Zakhar Bardakov in a move that was nothing more than a passing glance. 

But it also foreshadowed what was to come, as on March 6th, Colorado made an epic trade involving Sean Walker. They acquired the blueliner plus a 2026 fifth-round pick while shipping Ryan Johansen and a conditional first-rounder in 2025 to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Walker was the first of two blockbuster moves on the sixth, as the Avalanche also traded for Casey Mittelstadt in a deal that saw them send blueliner Bowen Byram to the Buffalo Sabres. Thanks to the Walker deal, the Avalanche lost nothing by sending Byram over, and given Mittelstadt’s ability to put up consistent numbers, the Avalanche landed a pair of high-quality players that immediately made what was already a good team even better.

Blockbuster moves at the NHL trade deadline helped the Colorado Avalanche

The following day saw the Avalanche grab the physical Brandon Duhaime from the Minnesota Wild for a 2026 third-round pick. An incredible defensive forward, Duhaime is someone the Avalanche has put onto their lower lines, and he can just disrupt would-be plays from occurring in the defensive zone, where most of his starts occurred during his time with the Wild. The penalty kill is another avenue where Duhaime specializes, and he spent nearly 131 minutes with the unit in Minnesota. 

Colorado wasn’t done, however, as they also snagged Yakov Trenin and Graham Seward from the Nashville Predators for Jeremy Hanzel and a 2025 third-round pick. Like Duhaime, Trenin is a hard hitter who excels on the penalty kill, and he also fits on the lower lines. He’s also a nightmare for opposing forwards when they’re trying to make something happen, given his on-ice save percentage of 93.1 at 5-on-5 throughout his stint in Nashville. 

Overall, we need to ask ourselves the burning question: What did the Avalanche not do to improve their team? They bolstered their lower lines with a dynamic scorer in Mittelstadt plus a pair of defensive forwards in Duhaime and Trenin - and do not underestimate the latter’s production when his team has the puck, as he’s put up between 10 and 17 goals in each of the last four seasons. 

Sure, the Avalanche could have traded for a goaltender to fully complete their team, but a new netminder or not, few contenders enjoyed a better NHL Trade Deadline Season than Colorado. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference, Trade information provided by Cap-Friendly)