As with every game, you take the good with the bad, so time to take a look at the pluses and the minuses in the game against the Ducks prospects for the Avalanche.
And yes, that includes rookie tournament games too.
The Colorado Avalanche may not have the high-end talent that a lot of the other teams in the tournament possess, but they’re battling, and that battling has gotten them two straight wins.
Anaheim may have one of the better prospect pools in the league, but the Avalanche held them at bay, especially in the third period, and walked away with a 5-3 victory.
+ Ivan Ivan
Yes, that’s his name, and yes, through two games, he’s got three goals and an assist. He seems to always find himself around the puck, and got the scoring started for Colorado with a shorthanded goal in the second period. His other game came late with an empty net, but he had other chances, including a great rush in the second that the Ducks goaltender was able to stop.
The 21 year old forward is currently on an AHL contract with the Eagles, but is pushing for an NHL deal. If he continues this play throughout the year, that may just happen.
– Oskar Olausson
Olausson had flashes, but every time he put the puck towards the net, it didn’t seem to get anywhere near it. Expectations are just higher for the former first round pick. He made a nice play in the third period to protect the puck and get it out of his own zone, and then a shift or two later, was his own worst enemy.
With two easy chances to clear the zone, he was a little too soft and gave the puck away. The second time was particularly egregious. He had time and space to chip the puck out with a one goal lead, but instead tried to carry it out through the middle of the ice. It was easily taken off his stick, and the Ducks kept control in the zone. Those are the types of mistakes he can’t make. If he’s not making an impact offensively, he can’t hurt the team defensively.
+ Milo Roelens
The gigantic forward, who’s listed at 6’6″, had a heck of a game at both ends of the ice. He was used in all situations, and assisted on at least two goals, including a nice cross-ice pass for Jeremy Hanzel’s game winner. The 20 year old broke out offensively last season in the QMJHL, but his rights are not currently owned by any NHL team. He looks to be headed back to the QMJHL, but an impressive showing for the youngster.
+ Maros Jedlicka
In the first period, Jedlicka was one of the few Avalanche players who was able to create some offense. He stole the puck from a defender at the defensive blueline and took it in on a two-on-one. His initial shot was stopped, but just barely missed the rebound. For a 20 year old playing in a pro league over in Slovakia, he still appears to be pretty raw, and certainly looks like he could stand to add some muscle.
I like what I see so far, and this is a good introduction to North American hockey for him.
+ AND – Jeremy Hanzel
Hanzel did end up scoring the game-winning goal off a breakdown by the Ducks, but it was a night of highs and low for him. He was pressured into a handful of mistakes by the forecheck of Anaheim, and on the flip side, made mistakes with little to no pressure on him. There was a two-shift stretch in the second where he looked really strong, and those two shifts actually resulted in two Avalanche goals, but for the most part, he was very up and down. I did love his aggression in the third period, as he kept pinching and putting the pressure on Anaheim.
+ Simon LaFrance
Sure, he missed a wide open net early in the game off a big rebound, but the reason he gets a + is because of a shift he had in the second period.
After getting the puck in the neutral zone, he took a massive hit from a Ducks defender, and popped right up. Moments later, he tipped the puck out into the neutral zone to spring Owen Allard for his breakaway goal. That’s the type of shift that gets the attention of the coaches.
– Matt Steinburg
Some of these NHL draft picks just have higher expectations than the undrafted folks, but the only times Steinburg was noticeable was in his brief fight, and when he was in the box for an offensive zone penalty. The Avalanche made it a point to get Steinburg under contract this summer, so he’ll have a lot of leeway.
The Avalanche will finish out the rookie tournament tomorrow at 4 PM, when they take on the prospects for the Vegas Golden Knights.