In selecting Justin Barron at 25th overall, the Avalanche added another blue-chip defensive prospect to the organization. It wasn’t all that long ago (before a blood clot slowed his progress and development last season), Barron was potentially talked about as one of the top two or three defensemen who would be drafted on day one. Barron blends great size, skating ability and two-way acumen; something that Joe has targeted and made a priority. Barron is also a natural leader and workhorse, we’re talking 25 minutes a night playing all situations here. He may not have the highest offensive upside as other prospects at his position, but he does fit with what Joe Sakic wants to do with his blue line.
Who is Justin Barron?
And what does he bring to the Colorado Avalanche?
Transition Skater, Tempo Maker
The most noticeable and perhaps most attractive skill-set that Barron brings to the prospect pool is the ability to transition the puck out of his own zone and create scoring chances. For a guy who stands 6′ 3″ and weighs nearly 200 pounds, Barron can really skate. He’s got good first step acceleration, a strong balanced stride and subtle but good edge work. Mix this with his ability to shield the puck and body his way through holes, Barron is a freight train moving downhill.
Not only is it the skills that allow him to be a prolific transition defenseman, his vision and timing when cutting through the neutral zone is fantastic. Bar Jake Sanderson and Jamie Drysdale, there isn’t anyone else who can time his rushes as well nor find the space in which to do so quite like Barron. He’s confident in his ability and simply doesn’t second guess his movements.