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Triples Is Best: One Outlet High On Some Avalanche Prospects



DU Pioneers Avalanche Behrens nhl

A few weeks back, we looked at the NHL Network ranking of the top 50 prospects in the NHL. According to them, the Colorado Avalanche had no one worthy of making the list.

The thing about the scouting community is that no scout has the same opinion as another on any player, so lists are bound to be different. And one list that was just released likes a few Avalanche prospects a lot more than the NHL Network.

EPRinkside, a part of Elite Prospects, released their top 100 NHL prospects on Thursday. I’m a huge fan of their work, and their draft guide this year was remarkably detailed.

They’re one outlet whose opinions I really trust, so when they released their rankings, I had to go take a peek. And yes, they’re a fan of a few Avalanche prospects, including one in particular.

In total, Colorado landed 3 prospects in their top 100 rankings, including one cracking the top 40. Those players were…

Mikhail Gulyayev – 90

Sean Behrens – 69

Calum Ritchie37

EP posted this ranking behind their paywall, so I won’t be posting exactly what they said about each player, but it’s nice to see the Avalanche get a little love. I know they really liked Ritchie leading up to the draft, ranking him 14th. I’ve mentioned I’m not as high on him, but everyone has different opinions. He played most of last season injured, so if he’s healthy next year, he might look like a different player.

Behrens above Gulyayev is a small surprise, but the 20 year old DU defenseman is a lot more polished, so it does make sense.

The obvious omission that is concerning is Oskar Olausson. In reality, this was a top 119 list, as they listed 19 “honorable mentions.” Olausson was nowhere to be found. That tells you a little bit about how he’s viewed right now, just two years after he was drafted in the first round.

His struggles at the AHL level as a 19/20 year old were to be expected, but he’ll have to show improvement this upcoming season. Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland has mentioned him as someone they want to get a good look at in camp, and he’ll likely take part in the Rookie Faceoff Tournament before camp. A strong showing there is a good way to make an impression before taking the ice with the NHL squad.

But look on the bright side – 3 prospects in the top 100 isn’t bad at all. The Avalanche needed to restock their cupboard at some point, and that started back in June. A good year from some of these players, especially Gulyayev, could see them climb the rankings even more.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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