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Another Avalanche Prospect Heads Overseas

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Avalanche Buyalsky

The 2021 NHL Draft was a strange one, coming after the COVID year where teams weren’t exactly able to scout players like they normally would. The Colorado Avalanche appear to have done pretty well with their second round pick in Sean Behrens, but their third rounder that year has struggled.

That third round pick is now headed overseas.

Andrei Buyalsky, taken 92nd overall by the Avalanche in that 2021 NHL Draft, has signed with the KHL Barys Astana for next season. Buyalsky, who is now 23 years old, was an older selection that year, as he turned 20 about a month after the draft. That should have meant he was ahead of others in his development, but that development stalled in a big way.

After spending a year in the USHL, Buyalsky has spent the last three seasons at the University of Vermont, where he has picked up just 19 points in 62 games. He entered the transfer portal earlier this year in hopes of moving to a new NCAA team, but that didn’t happen.

The website for the KHL team currently doesn’t show how long the contract is expected to be.

Third round picks not becoming NHL players is not exactly uncommon. Only two players from that third round have managed to play NHL games to date. However, not even getting a player worthy of an NHL contract who could at least spend time in the AHL is a miss for the organization. Little things add up sometimes.

All hope is not lost from that draft for the Avalanche, though. Sean Behrens just completed his Junior season at DU and will start his entry-level contract next season. There’s a good chance he’ll get into some NHL games next season. Oskar Olausson has snuck into two NHL games, and did show some improvement in the AHL last year. Colorado’s seventh round pick, Taylor Makar, transferred to Maine this summer, where he will play next season.

Colorado currently has a first, a fourth, two fifths, a sixth, and two seventh round picks for the upcoming NHL Draft this June.

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