A new season is underway for nearly all Avalanche prospects and the pool is looking a bit on the thin side but the Avs still have a few key prospects on the radar, be it for the future or maybe more realistically as trade fodder.
The Eagles started the season splitting two back-to-backs but more importantly from the development front have a new man at the helm in Kevin McDonald; keep an eye out for a piece from Meghan Angley later this week who sat down with McDonald. The call-up process is already in full churn mode for Colorado, including call-ups for Martin Kaut and Mikhail Maltsev. Behind them, other prospects are getting a bonafide opportunity in the AHL.
Jean-Luc Foudy – C round 3, pick 75, 2020
Entering into his third year in the AHL at just 20 years old this is a dream start for Foudy, In a perfect world, he is taking the next step in his career and could compete for a roster spot by the end of the year.
Ivan Zhigalov – G (Kingston Frontenacs) round 7, pick 225, 2022
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There have been several Avs prospects who have started strong but Zhigalov’s start might be the best of the bunch. Swapping from the Q to the O over the offseason via the import draft, Zhigalov has been nothing short of an ace to start the season for Kingston. An extremely raw prospect taken as Mr. Irrelevant in the draft, he’s already exceeded expectations.
Colby Ambrosio – C (Boston College) round 4, pick 118, 2020
Ambrosio is off to the type of start you want from a player entering his junior season fighting to earn a contract. He should have every opportunity in BC’s top six this season and you’d love to see him push for a point-per-game pace. He’s my personal favorite prospect to watch of the Avs unsigned pool.
Sean Behrens – D (Denver) round 2, pick 61, 2021
It’s been a bit of a slow start for Behrens and DU who look like they’ve taken a pretty big step back from the championship team they were last season. Half a point per game is nothing to scoff at for any defenseman but its a step down from his production last season, Behrens will have to find his role on a team where he is likely to have even more responsibility and less talent around him but things are still very positive.
Andrei Buyalsky – C (Vermont) round 3, pick 92, 2021
Buyalski returns to Vermont after playing just three games last season due to a serious knee injury. Unfortunately, he has returned with little more than a whimper having virtually no impact on the score sheet of Vermont’s first 5 games. Buyalsky who is already 22, doesn’t have the timeline for the slow route through the NCAA if he wants to earn an NHL contract.
Nicky Leivermann – D (Notre Dame) round 7, pick 187, 2017
Nicky Leivermann returns to Notre Dame as a super senior and has to be the longest I’ve seen any non-Russian prospect remain in the unsigned pool of an NHL team. He has been named Captain of the Irish and gets one last ride before he descends into the murky waters of what could be a pro career.
Taylor Makar – C (UMASS) round 7, pick 220, 2021
Taylor Makar has finally found his footing in the NCAA as he is a regular starter as a sophomore this year with UMASS. I’m still a long way from getting my hopes up here but he has potted a few goals so far and one of them was pretty fun.
Matt Stienburg – C (Cornell) round 3, pick 63, 2019
Steinburg is the one prospect whose season hasn’t begun with Cornell’s year starting up this coming weekend. He could be the most interesting prospect of the bunch to watch, if he can come anywhere close to his pace from last season a contract could be on the horizon.
Nikolai Kovalenko – RW (Nizhny Novogorod Torpedo) round 6, pick 171, 2018
Kovalenko has ascended from a good KHL player to a dominant one. With a locked-in spot on the top six with his new team, nothing is holding him back in that league. The problem there is that he’s still in the KHL and locked into a contract through 2024. He’s arguably been ready for the jump to North America for a while now, it’s just a question of how the Avs get him to come over.
Chris Romaine – D (Omaha Lancers) round 6, pick 193, 2022
Romaine is scheduled to play with the Omaha Lancers in the USHL this season before shipping off to Providence next year but has started the season on the IR with an undisclosed injury. We’ll have to wait and see how good the Avs truly are at drafting kids with a vegetable for a name.