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Colorado Avalanche

Avs announce 23-man opening-night roster

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Sampo Ranta

With the 2021-22 season officially set to open on Wednesday night in Denver, the Colorado Avalanche announced their final cuts on Monday morning.

Here it is:

Avs 2021-22 opening night roster

While it looked liked rookie defenseman Justin Barron could be a candidate to make the opening-night roster, the 19-year-old D-man was among the final two cut (and reassigned to the Colorado Eagles, along with winger Mikhail Maltsev) on Monday.

One big surprise that sticks out is rookie forward Sampo Ranta appears to have made the Avs. Ranta, who was the third-round pick of the Avalanche in 2018, spent the last three years at the University of Minnesota before signing his entry-level contract with Colorado late in the 2020-21 season.

Ranta improved mightily year by year at Minnesota, finishing his junior year second in the NCAA in goals scored (19 goals and 31 points in 31 games). Ranta then made the jump to the pro ranks and tallied four goals and seven points in his first 14 games with the Colorado Eagles, while also appearing in two post-season games with the Avs.

Ranta figures to start at wing among the bottom-six forwards. Here is my guess as to how the opening-night forward lines shake out:

Landeskog – MacKinnon – Rantanen

Betting with the Barbers!

Nichushkin – Kadri – Burakovsky

Compher – Jost – Newhook

Ranta – Helm – O’Connor

On the defense side of things, the Avalanche will roll with eight D-men to start the season, though Devon Toews will begin the year on IR. Kurtis MacDermid, will likely be the candidate to be sent down once Toews returns to game action in a couple of weeks.

Pavel Francouz will also start the year on IR. Jonas Johansson will slot in at backup behind Darcy Kuemper to start the year.

All-in-all, no huge surprises.

Now, I ask you, Avs fan: what are your thoughts on the 2021-22 roster?

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A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Scott has so far spent the early parts of his young career covering Colorado hockey — from the Avalanche to the Colorado Eagles to the DU Pioneers. His work can be found across sites such as NHL.com, TheAHL.com and SB Nation, among others. Scott currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, where he works as a Marketing Executive when he's not writing.

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Kalyn Beasley

Love it!

David Charpentier

I really like Ranta sticking with the team. He and O’Connor with their speed and forecheck can create big issues for a team. With Helm as a mentor that could be a great 4th line. 3rd line has great balance and scoring potential.

Bob Neal

I like it. I bet they make it further in the playoffs then they did the previous three years if the goaltending holds up. The goaltending is the uncertainty to this lineup. It looks like Pavel’s injury may not be that minor. I’m glad Ranta made the roster as he brings size and energy. I was afraid he cooked his goose after getting 4 penalties on Saturday. Never backtalk the referee or he will get you in the end.

peter martin

Kinda surprised at Maltsev bc he’s been consistent and also good on draws. Sakic traded for him. But they sent Calle Rosen down too, after trading for him.

Rick

Has Ranta played on the 4th line or with those two guys at any point in practice or any pre-season game? If he has I don’t remember it. I tend to doubt the first time will be Wednesday. I think Jost or Compher are much more likely to play with Helm and LOC than Ranta. Compher was there in the last pre-season game and Jost apparently skated with those two in practice today. Ranta doesn’t seem to have the defensive responsibility to play on that line and has very little chance to flash his offensive upside there. I’m guessing it’ll… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Rick
Charles-Edouard Boivin

From what I’ve seen of Maltsev, I really hope he’ll get called up before too long. He seems to be a fast and exciting prospect. Anyone seen him and feels the same?

TR

Hey Charles – I completely agree on Maltsev. Watched him play against the Golden Knights last week, and I thought he was one of our best players. Very surprised to see him be redirected to the Eagles but my guess he will be the first called up, along with Barron.

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