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Ben Meyers makes Avs debut tonight and other lineup notes



Ben Meyers

This is becoming kind of a secret weapon for many NHL teams AFTER the NHL trade deadline: the signing of top college free agents. That’s what the Avs did with former Minnesota Golden Gophers captain Ben Meyers, and the 23-year-old center will make his NHL debut tonight at Ball Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Meyers can play any games for the rest of the regular season, but he can’t play in the playoffs because his contract with the Avs was signed after the NHL trade deadline. Still, Meyers gives the Avs more depth down the stretch, and the ability to rest other guys before the playoffs.

“Just want him to go play and have some fun,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of Meyers. “I don’t know exactly what to expect from him. I want him to work hard, be responsible defensively and chip in if he can.”

One thing Meyers should keep an eye out for: being targeted. They won’t admit it publicly, but NHL veterans don’t like college free-agent signees too much. Many feel, right or wrong, that they got an undeserved shortcut to the NHL and they definitely like to “test” them right off the hop.

Meyers will center a fourth line with Andrew Cogliano and Logan O’Connor. The rest of the lineup looks like this:








Byram-J. Johnson

Kuemper in net.

NOTEBOOK: Erik Johnson will get another rest. Bednar said Johnson has been dealing with a couple of nagging injuries as well, so more rest is good for him. Bednar said other guys will start to get more of a rest moving forward too, before the playoffs. … Nazem Kadri skated again today, albeit in a red jersey. … Still no word of Gabe Landeskog skating (UPDATE: Jesse Montano of DNVR reported that Landy did some very light skating earlier in the day). … Frederik Andersen will start in goal for Carolina.

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