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Observations From Colorado Avalanche Rookie Camp: Ben Meyers Looked Good



Colorado Avalanche training camp

The Colorado Avalanche off-season is officially over… as short as it was with a Stanley Cup run. The Avalanche rookies and prospects reported to camp today for the opening of Rookie Camp before they head to San Jose for four days three-game tournament. A lot of the players we will see at this year’s camp will be reporting to the Colorado Eagles and the Utah Grizzlies. There is some hope that we may see a couple of them up with the Avalanche this year for their first time with a call-up or two. Maybe a couple that even get sent back to their junior teams because there simply will not enough room for them on the roster or they need another year to develop. Let’s take a look at some of the action that happened today on the ice at Family Sports Center.

The roster this year is loaded with talent from front to back. Ben Meyers will lead the charge along with Oskar Olausson and Jean Luc-Foudy up front on the forward line. Colorado’s own Nate Clurman and Danil Zhuravlyov will bring up the rear on the defense. It’s highly likely that each goalie will get their own start in the tournament, but the goalie of choice will have to be Justus Annunen. The day got off to a slow start with just the goalies getting a few minutes to warm up with the coaches and then the controlled chaos began with some passing drills to get the skaters warmed up as well. The positional drills are always the most fun to watch because it can really show how a forward and defenseman will react when they are thinking about it. The coaches ran through a lot of zone entry drills and worked both offense and defense. The coaches were trying to narrow down the issues that the defensemen had stopping the play and what successes the forwards were having. There was an emphasis on corner work, with the forward trying to get out and the defenseman stopping him. The practice was then ended by a stint with the power play units coming into formation.

Rookie Camp roster 2022

There were a few players that happen to stand out at practice today. There is a chance that these are the players that may get the call when when a Colorado Avalanche player gets hurt or may even make the opening night roster.

Ben Meyers

Meyers was a standout from the first drill today. He showed that he is ready to fight for an NHL roster spot with his passing, skating and shooting. He appears to be a man among boys in this group with the added experience of NCAA hockey on his resume and a run for the championship against the University of Denver last season. His five games with the Avalanche show in his ice awareness when he charges the net to follow up on a simple shot (something J.T. Compher is very good at). Today, Meyers showed he was willing to play a physical game as well, when he took a hit along the boards and jumped right back up into the drill.  This physical game will bode him well as he is projected to play on the third or fourth line for the Avalanche to start the season and will take the heavy hits as a consequence. Watch for Meyers to make a positive impact during the Rookie Faceoff and beyond this season.

Oskar Olausson

There are not enough good things that can be said about Olausson. He has full ice surface awareness of where he is and where his teammates are at all times. Olausson is always looking for a play to be made when he is on offense, whether it be with or without the puck. He can make the passes that look like they won’t get through look easy because his head is up the whole time. It is not often you see Olausson look down at the puck because he does not over handle it like a lot of young kids do, he just….skates.  The only issue that Olausson may have is that he is on the light side (181 lbs) for his 6’2″ frame. He is still young and has time to gain some strength in his first AHL season. We project that he will start as a middle six forward with the the Colorado Eagles until coach Greg Cronin gets familiar with him and he will move to the top six for sure. Colorado Avalanche fans may even get a chance to see him crack the NHL lineup if there is an injury or two but we shall see.

Overall, this Colorado Avalanche rookie squad looks impressive. It is always fun to see the Rookie Faceoff just because this is THE future of the organization in the making. If you watch these players now, you can say a few years down the road “Wow, this kid has really grown in his game,” and truly mean it. That is the best thing about watching rookie tournaments, you get see how all of these kids grow and develop to become NHL stars in the making. That in itself is what is special about rookie camp.

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