Two former first-round NHL draftees – Martin Kaut and Shane Bowers – are now available for any team to take, for a pittance. The Colorado Avalanche this morning placed them both on waivers, so unless they are claimed by any of the other 31 clubs, they’ll both be ticketed – again – for the Colorado Eagles.
I won’t be surprised if one or both are claimed. There are some teams out there that might just be tempted enough to claim them and make them a rehab project. Guys who went in the first round usually get another team or two to take a chance on them, even if it didn’t work out with their previous clubs.
It’s a disappointing result particularly for Martin Kaut, the 16th overall selection in the 2018 draft. He got some good playing time in the preseason, but didn’t show enough, obviously, to the coaching staff to make the big club out of camp. For Bowers, it’s disappointing, but he still has a shot in the NHL and the Avs (unless he’s claimed). He remains the only player from the first round of his draft class (2017) to have not played at least one NHL game.
It looks good that Anton Blidh, Ben Meyers and Lukas Sedlak will make the Avalanche now, at least to start the regular season. Both were at practice here this morning at Family Sports Center.
The Avalanche went through a routine practice, in which J.T. Compher participated in a red non-contact jersey. Neither Darren Helm nor Gabe Landeskog were out there.
We’ll get some reaction after practice from Jared Bednar on this.
*UPDATE: Here’s what Bednar said:
On Bowers: “I’d say I was pretty happy with the way Bowers played in training camp. A lot like last year. Just not enough getting accomplished during the games. But, I think he’s in a good position for me, if he clears waivers, to go down and have an impact on the Eagles and get himself in the recall mix. He hasn’t really been in the mix the last couple years, because of his injuries, lack of playing time and whatnot. I think he’s taken a nice step here and looked good with our group. I think he’s in top condition and ready to go have a big year and get himself an NHL job at some point.”
On Kaut: “Kauter, I feel like his camp’s been a little bit up and down. I liked his training camp, liked his early games, very impactful player early in camp and games. Last two were pretty quiet. So, I would say we’ve got all these guys fighting for roster spots. Neither Kauter or Bowers have been assigned, right, so we have the option to keep them. We put them on waivers to have some flexibility. And we have someone, Ben Meyers, who elevates his game last game and Kauter takes a dip. Before that, Kauter was good and Meyers wasn’t as good. So we’re watching these guys. Some inconsistencies in their games, and we’re trying to get as long a look at ’em as we can and make some decisions.”
Sooo, it wasn’t all bad, from the coach’s perspective. There seems to be hope for both Kaut and Bowers still, though it’s likely still a tough day for each guy. They just have to keep working I guess.