Kraken Expansion Draft - Colorado Avalanche
Sorry about the radio silence over the past few days my friends. Luckily I have returned to you all and am ready to once again ready to provide you with some Seattle Kraken entertainment.
Grab your coffee, take a few minutes out of your Monday work schedule and let's take a look at what the Colorado Avalanche have in store for us.
Today we will hear from @zachgha for his take on the Avs protection list.
COLORADO AVALANCHE PROTECTION LIST
Nathan MacKinnon - C
Mikko Rantanen - RW
Gabriel Landeskog - LW
Brandon Saad - RW
Andre Burakovsky - LW
Nazem Kadri - C
Valeri Nichushkin - LW
Erik Johnson RD (NMC)
Samuel Girard - LD
Cale Makar - RD
Forwards were relatively easy. The first 6 are no brainers for me. I had to make a little bit of a decision for the 7th forward spot. Ultimately, Nichushkin is our best defensive forward and he is a little harder to replace. Also, given the Avs are approaching a cap crunch pretty soon, we may prefer to lose a "better" player in Compher or Donskoi for cap relief.
The defense got a little tricky. The Avs just traded two second-round picks for Devon Toews. This almost certainly means Johnson will be asked to waive his NMC or be bought out. I don't see a world where they expose Toews after giving up so much for him, but given the rules of this protection list I must leave him exposed here.
Thanks so much for your thoughts!
Colorado is a strong team and have a number of eligible players to select that should fit excellent onto the Kraken roster. Here are the big names that stand out to me.
J.T. Compher: 25 year old capable of playing both centre or on the wing. Has been able to produce close to a .5 ppg pace despite playing mainly on a third line.
Joonas Donskoi: Top six winger who produced a career high 16 goals last season despite only playing 65 games. A veteran player with five seasons under his belt.
Tyson Jost: Young talent who has consistently put up 20+ point seasons since entering the league full time. Likely would have broken 30 points if last season wasn't suspended.
Devon Toews: Solid puck moving defenceman who made himself known with the Islanders this past season. Produced 28 points for the usually stingy Islanders. Will be interesting to see how he fairs on the much more mobile Avs.
Pavel Francouz: Post solid numbers with a 0.923SV% in 34 games. Is only 30 years old with an opportunity to shoulder more responsibility.
This Kraken team needs to bring in some skilled forwards and while Toews, should he become available would be enticing, there are just too many strong options up front to ignore. I debated for some time between the veteran experience of Donskoi, to the untapped potential of Jost but settled in the middle with Compher.
One of Compher's biggest assets is his ability to play both centre and the wing (something you will continue to see me value through this process). Despite averaging the 8th most time on ice among all forwards, Compher still managed to score 11 goals, 10 of which were at 5 on 5.
One area Compher has not truly had a chance to shine is the powerplay, considering the top unit consists of players like MacKinnon, Rantanen, Kadri, and Landeskog. If he had a chance to play a more prominent role on the PP thien I believe he could have 40-50 point potential, even playing on a third line.
For now I will list Compher as a centre but look for him to likely end up on the wing in my top six in the future.