Well, I think it’s safe to say the Colorado Avalanche are looking at any and all options (on a budget) to improve their forward depth.
Are these options good enough to earn a contract? We’ll find out in a few weeks.
On Friday, it came out that the Avalanche are bringing 6’4″ forward Saku Maenalanen to camp on a PTO. The 29 year old winger played 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season, picking up just 10 points. In 5 playoff games, he picked up one assist.
#GoAvsGo have signed UFA forward Saku Maenalanen to a professional try out.
Maenalanen played for Winnipeg last season.https://t.co/E2iKhf7X9G
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 8, 2023
One thing Maenalanen has experience at, just like his fellow countryman and PTO recipient Joel Kiviranta, is that he kills penalties. He averaged 1:24 a game on the penalty kill for the Jets last year. Judging by his metrics below, he was pretty good in that role.
The other reason we can assume he is coming to camp is physicality. The Avalanche are looking to add more sandpaper, and he picked up 113 hits last year. He would immediately become the biggest player in the bottom fix if he earned a job there.
Whether it’s Maenalanen, Kiviranta, or Peter Holland, the Avalanche don’t seem satisfied with their depth up front, and competition is never a bad thing. With each PTO that is announced, I like the odds of a young player earning a spot in the bottom six less and less. It won’t be impossible, because these three still have to actually earn a contract, but at this point, I’d bet on at least one of them securing a deal.
Stay tuned to CHN for more news as camp approaches.