Andre Burakovsky is Mikko Rantanen in the Colorado Avalanche lineup, until Mikko Rantanen returns.
That was one of the takeaways from Day 1 of training camp at a fairly well-attended Family Sports Center.
Burakovsky, the import from the Washington Capitals, skated at right wing on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog and didn’t look too out of place out there. But, this really wasn’t the day to dish out “winners” or “losers” or any other click-baity thing, as all the players really did today was do line rushes and other more rudimentary forms of training.
Jared Bednar said, after the two split-sessions were done today, that there won’t be any scrimmaging until Sunday’s sessions. It used to be that training camp was basically four days of non-stop scrimmaging, but Bednar likes to take the first couple of days to implement more skills work, more diagramming on a chalkboard and more informal stuff.
So, what stood out to me today was how Burakovsky seemed comfortable skating with MacK and Landy. He’s skated with guys such as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom before, so it’s not a major surprise here. He’s a very big wild card to this season, in my opinion. If the Avs can tap more of this kid’s potential, it could be huge in the scheme of things. Question is, what happens when Rantanen comes back? Does he automatically drop down to the second line?
If so, he would displace fellow newcomer Joonas Donskoi, who skated on that “second line” today with Nazem Kadri and Tyson Jost. For right now, it’s a nice problem for Bednar and the Avs to have. Unlike previous years, there is much more depth at forward, so the guys on the top six are going to have to really earn it, especially those 4-5-6 guys.
MORE NEWS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM DAY 1