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Colorado Avalanche

Observations and Quotes From Rookie Camp




The prospects for the Colorado Avalanche had a flight to catch after skating on Thursday afternoon, but they still put in the work for nearly two hours. A coaching staff consisting of Colorado Eagles and Avalanche members put them through the ringer on the ice, and that’s just the start of their long weekend.

The Avalanche will play the prospects for the Arizona Coyotes later today in Las Vegas. It doesn’t end there, as they’ll practice Saturday morning, and then play two more games on Sunday and Monday.

A good prep leading into main camp next week.

It was just a practice, so there isn’t much to take from it overall, but here are a few observations and some quotes from opening day.

  • It looked like a potential line for the tournament could be Ondrej Pavel centering Oskar Olausson and Matt Steinburg. The three all wore the same color and ran several drills together. It’s an important camp for Olausson, who had to adjust to the rigors of an AHL schedule last year. “It’s way more than we used to play in Sweden,” Olausson said of the schedule. “To get used to that has been huge for me. Excited to play more games this year.” The Avalanche are looking for Olausson to continue growing his competitive edge, as he showed up to camp much stronger than last year.
  • First round pick Cal Ritchie is going to go with the team to Vegas, but will not play, as he’s still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. They don’t know the exact date for his return to play, but Avalanche Director of Player Development Brian Willsie said “Fall.”
  • We got our first look at 7th round pick Maros Jedlicka. He’s a tall, lanky center from Slovakia, and looked like someone who has a fair bit of skill. “We just missed out on getting him at Development Camp,” Willsie said. “A skilled player that can really shoot it.” Jedlicka has never even been to the United States, so it may take him a little bit to adjust to the style here.
  • Jean-Luc Foudy has been skating in red, and is rehabbing from the injury he suffered at the end of last season.
  • Jeremy Hanzel is someone I’m a big fan of, and look for him to run one of the powerplay units, just based off what we saw at practice. He’s likely headed back to the WHL because of how many defensemen the Avalanche have under contract, but he’s pro-ready.
  • One guy not here is Nikolai Kovalenko, and that’s because he’s off to another hot start over in the KHL, with 7 points in the first 5 games for Torpedo. His development is something the Avalanche are very happy with. “That’s exciting for us,” Willsie said. “He’s just continually improved. He broke into the KHL as a bottom six agitator, and now the offensively numbers have really improved. He’s got a lot of facets to his game that excited us. Excited to get him over here.”

The Avalanche prospects will take to the ice today at 4:30 PM MST against the Arizona Coyotes. My understanding is the game will be streamed on the team website.

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