Last season, the Avalanche had a historically dreadful year. As usual, after any team does poorly in the previous season they have high hopes to come into the next season and do much better.
This is no different with the Avalanche, as they will be looking to rebound and show the rest of the league that they are not a laughing stock. However, this is obviously easier said than done. It may take a few more years for the Avalanche to make it back into the playoffs, but some of the changes that they have made this offseason should make Avs fans optimistic.
After all, things can only get better from here… right?
The word among the fans is that the Avalanche struggle to be able to bring talent to the team, however, Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic has been able to bring in a few players who might be able to assist the team in this upcoming season.
After losing the services of Calvin Pickard in the NHL Expansion Draft, the Avalanche picked up a solid backup goalie in the likes of Bernier. Avalanche fans have reason to like the signing, as Bernier is not an old veteran in the NHL, playing at the current age of 28 years old.
Last season, Bernier spent his time with the Anaheim Ducks, accumulating an outstanding record of 21 wins and 7 losses, 2.50 GAA and a save percentage of .915 percent.
Bernier will be a solid backup for the likes of Semyon Varlamov, and will drastically be able to help carry the load the Russian goalie will be carrying. This becomes even more important now, as Varlamov underwent surgery in an attempt to fix his consistent groin injury problem. Only time will tell if he will be able to remain healthy, as groin injuries are one of the most difficult injuries to keep from happening over and over again.
This one came as a surprise to me, especially considering the fact that the Nashville Predators just made it to their first Stanley Cup final in franchise history. Wilson brings a physical style of play to the Avs, but he can also find the back of the net. In the past, Wilson has been a nightmare for the Avalanche.
Last season, Wilson had one of his best point production performances with the Predators ever since being selected as the 7th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Predators. In 70 games played, Wilson put up 35 points for the Predators, finding the back of the net 12 time, and coming up with 23 assists.
If I had to take a guess, I would say that we will more than likely find Wilson switching between the third line and the second line.
Out of all of the signings that we have seen above, this is the one that surprised me the most. The former first overall draft pick to the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has certainly fallen from his grace, as he has been unable to find a proper NHL home just yet. After playing four seasons for the Oilers, Yakupov was dealt to the St. Louis Blues where he would only accumulate 9 points in 40 games played.
Now, I am a big fan of this signing. I like the style of how Yakupov plays, and the deal itself is fairly intelligent. On July 4, 2017 the Colorado Avalanche announced the signing of Yakupov to a one-year contract that is work $870k. The deal is a low risk, high reward that allows that Avalanche to have more scoring depth.
Obviously, only time will tell if Yakupov will be able to find his legs with the Avalanche, but on paper, it is a fairly good signing for the Avalanche.
Out of all of the signings that we have seen so far for the Avalanche, this is the one that is intriguing me the most. Fresh off of having a successful season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Warsofsky will be looking to carry that momentum into finally playing a role for an NHL team, and he can certainly find a spot with the Avalanche.
Players to Look Out For
After playing the past few seasons in the KHL, Mironov has finally decided to come stateside and play for the team who drafted him in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Mironov will be a solid addition to the Avs lackluster defensive line, as he will bring a physical presence that will compliment the likes of Nikita Zadarov fairly well.
Many people were skeptical about Jost making his NHL debut last season, but now that he gained that experience it has allowed me to gather an idea of what he has had to work on during the offseason. Along with becoming stronger, Jost has been working on becoming faster to stick with the speed of the NHL.
Rantanen proved that he has what it takes to lead the Avalanche, as last season he contributed 38 points to the Avalanche, leading the squad in goals, and only falling behind the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene in points.
With so many forwards who are peaking our interest, it will be interesting to see who Rantanen plays with when the season kicks back up. Rumors are that Duchene will more than likely play most with Yakupov, but Yakupov can also fill in the role to help out with Rantanen.
Of the players who were picked up last season, Andrighetto was absolutely one of the players who truly impressed the fans, as well as the coaching staff. Immediately after being claimed off waivers, Andrighetto made a case for the team to keep him for this upcoming season, as he would finish the season with 24 points.