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Avalanche Camp Report: Stock Up/Stock Down




Three games down, three games to go. That means we are officially at the halfway point of preseason for the Colorado Avalanche.

Naturally, some players have gotten off to a nice start in camp, while some have had a tougher go of it. The Avalanche have made quite a few cuts already, but there are plenty more to be made. Even if someone is cut, how they perform in camp and during the preseason matters. Jared Bednar has said as much. If they need to make any call-ups early in the season, the organization will go back to who performed during this time.

So who has helped their stock in the last week, and whose stock has gone down? Let’s take a look.

Stock Up

Ivan Ivan – Without a doubt. Heading into rookie camp, he was virtually unknown. Now, he’s been specifically praised by the head coach on the team, and seen as someone who they expect to have a “big year” for the Colorado Eagles. He’s done just about everything he can to earn an entry-level contract with the Avalanche.

Nate Clurman – Do I expect him to start the season on the Avalanche? No, I still think that’s a long shot. But a week ago, I didn’t think he was a realistic option to even get a call-up this year. That might have changed already.

Jonathan Drouin – How could someone who’s been on the top line since the start of camp be in the “stock up” category? Well, that’s easy – he hasn’t given up that spot yet. Bednar said that Drouin would have earn the spot, even if he was given the opportunity, and he hasn’t felt the need to change anything yet. If Bednar felt it wasn’t working, even in practice, he would have changed things up, but he hasn’t done that yet. Drouin looked good in the one preseason game he played, and I think everyone is looking forward to that first full game where we get to see the Halifax duo reunited.

Josh Manson – Perhaps this one is a bit of a surprise, but after last season, Manson’s stock really had nowhere to go but up. No, he hasn’t played in a game yet, but he’s looked pretty mobile in all the practices, and most importantly, he’s been present for all of them. We’ll see what happens when he gets into a game, but he’s looked good at practice. A healthy Manson will be really important this year for the Avalanche.

Stock Down

Sam Malinski – Granted, none of us could see the Thursday night game in Dallas, but on the radio, Bednar described Malinski’s camp heading into that game as “a little quiet.” Coach said he came on late in the Dallas game, but he struggled in the preseason opener, taking three penalties. That’s never good. On top of that, I didn’t love his game defensively. He had flashes offensively, but I think it will take an injury or two to some of the puck-movers on the Avalanche blueline for him to get a look.

Jean-Luc Foudy/Ondrej Pavel – This one really stinks, but the most important ability is availability, or so I’ve heard. When Tatar signed, Foudy’s chances to start the season with the Avalanche went out the window anyway, but it wouldn’t have mattered, because he’s not healthy. No real timeline has been given for when he’ll be ready to play either. For Pavel, it’s a real bummer, because he would have absolutely been in the competition for the fourth line center spot. Now, he’s guaranteed to start the season in the AHL, and he’ll have to earn a call-up. I think he’ll get one, but missing training camp is never ideal.

Pavel Francouz – Even if Francouz manages to make his way back this year, can you trust him? When he’s healthy, he’s a really good backup, but health has been a major issue for a while now. The Avalanche are in the market for a backup goalie, and it might be wise to find one they can actually trust for the rest of the season.

Gianni Fairbrother – I don’t think he was on anyone’s radar to play in the NHL this year, but seeing someone with an NHL contract  on the initial cut list is a bit of surprise, especially because he was the only player in that first cut group with an NHL deal. With how many contracts the Avalanche have on defense, he might be headed for the ECHL.

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