Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Signed as an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)
Andre Burakovsky – Signed a one-year contract after being acquired from Washington
Joonas Donskoi – Scored the game-winning goal for the Sharks in Game 7 against the Avalanche, then joined the squad as a UFA
Nazem Kadri – Acquired in a trade with Toronto
Calle Rosen – Acquired in the trade with Toronto
Kevin Connauton – Acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Coyote
Bowen Byram – NHL Draft 1st round 4th overall
Alex Newhook – NHL Draft 1st round 16th overall
Sven Andrighetto – Currently playing for the Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League
Gabriel Bourque – Currently an unsigned Free Agent
Derick Brassard – Currently an unsigned Free Agent
Alexander Kerfoot – Traded to Toronto
Carl Soderberg – Traded to Phoenix
Tyson Barrie – Traded to Toronto
Patrik Nemeth – Signed with the Detroit Red Wings
Semyon Varlamov – signed with New York Islanders
Overall, the Avalanche got better this offseason but losing some of their homegrown and long-term guys hurts. Barrie, Varlamov, and Kerfoot were some ‘love em or hate em’ Avalanche players that pulled fans in separate directions because they had huge impacts at times, and were complete no-shows others.
Tyson Barrie was a fan favorite for some folks and others he made want to pull their hair out. Barrie is an UFA after the 2019-20 season and was likely going to command a big payday. The Avalanche weren’t going to pay the price tag, and had Cale Makar, the number one prospect in hockey, to replace him.
Semyon Varlamov was on his way out the door after Philip Grubauer led the team through the end of the 2018-19 regular season and into the playoffs. The Kerfoot loss was surprising and many fans weren’t happy about his departure because his untapped potential flashed in spots, but receiving Kadri will provide grittiness and consistency that fans always hoped for from Kerfoot.
The Avalanche had the best chance at the top overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft because of the Matt Duchene trade with Ottawa, but the lottery wasn’t kind to them and Colorado ended up with the fourth-overall selection and the 16th.
Though it didn’t pan out to get the prized draft picks Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko, the general consensus is the Avs got great prospects who will be major contributors down the road. Bowen Byram is an offensive defenseman that has a chance to contribute right away and Alex Newhook is a skilled finesse skater with great hands that has a few years before he’s in the Avs sweater.
Secondary scoring was a huge issue for this roster last season, the Avs were considered a 1 line team which is an insult in most people’s opinion. The addition of Nazem Kadri adds a 30-plus goal scorer and center that will anchor the second line and provide another dangerous scoring threat for this roster.
Donskoi and Burakovsky will have an opportunity to be additional sources of secondary scoring along with Kadri on the second or third lines. Bellemare will be a special team’s specialist and should contribute on the penalty kill.
Rounding out the roster are players with increased roles. Pavel Francouz and Cale Makar will be full-time contributors, with Pavel being the backup goaltender behind Grubauer and Makar projecting as a top-four defenseman.
Grubauer takes his place as the starting goaltender, leaving about 20-25 games next year for Francouz to prove his worth and make an impact. Cale Makar joined the Avs roster in the playoffs after losing in the NCAA Frozen Four, and his role will be significantly increased after the departure of Tyson Barrie. Vladislav Kamenev, Martin Kaut, and Shane Bowers are all fighting up the pipeline with high hopes next season. AJ Greer, Sheldon Dries, and Connor Timmins should all have a chance to get on the ice and wear the burgundy and blue.
The Avalanche boast one of the most productive and talented lines in the league, headed by one of the most prolific players in the league, Nathan MacKinnon, who led the league in shots on goal last season and led the Avs with 41 goals and 99 points.
Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen are also incredible players alongside Mackinnon that will provide the first line goal scoring. Those three players accounted for 106 goals, 19 game-winning goals (GWG), and two overtime goals (OTG).