The DNVR Avalanche Podcast drops with Nathan Rudolph and AJ Haefele looking at the Avs prospects and particularly how far the two 2019 first-round picks have come as well as discussing who might earn a contract this year.

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  • Newhook: fully agree with you guys that in this situation a second year at BC is the very best thing for him and for all the reasons you laid out and that I’ve been saying for years. He gets a year to totally dominate and be a leader on that team, he gets a chance to go to the WJC and (hopefully) dominate and lead, he gets a year that he can really focus on specific parts of his game and training like the weight room and D-zone. College life for an athlete is also really good for personal growth and independence in that while it is very structured, you are also a young kid learning how to live on your own. You have a good support system with the team, but also left to your own devices a lot so you have to grow mentally and emotionally a lot in that time.

    Beaucage and Mutala I would wait at least until Dev Camp if not training camp to see where they’re at and maybe an ELC on the way back to juniors is the motivation needed to really have a breakout year.

    Also agree that Annunen is kind of a toss up here. Go back and play as the starter for a dominant team in the Liga or come over to CO and have real competition for playing time with the Eagles. I don’t think either path would be bad for him, but i guess it’s up to him and the Avs what path is best.

    Byram I would tend to lean towards the ATO option to play with the Eagles, but that would all depend on the playoff situations of all the teams involved. Either way he’s in burgundy and blue next year. Even with him on the Avs roster next year, I’m not opposed to giving him an occasional healthy scratch to watch the game from a different perspective sitting next to a coach and talking things out real time.

  • Sorry, what’s the off ice Shamil Shmakov story? Intrigued but can’t find anything on line about it … maybe that’s my poor sleuthing skills. Maybe a link if available. Thanks.

    • Came over to play in the USHL bounced around and struggled to find a fit. At one point was supposedly even going to be sent to the NAHL and then it came out he had broken bones in his back. Pretty wild ride fro a 7th round goalie selection on of Russian juniors.

      • Thanks. Wow, yeah, and for a teenager. Read some stuff and his English seems pretty good, plus, he comes off as a bit of a character. Obviously he is just a lottery ticket of a pick but he is good fun for the massive size and crazy alliterative name.

  • TLDR: It was a lot easier for an 18 year old to find immediate success in the NHL 5 years ago than it is today because they were able to grow up with the rule changes. I think it will become common for top end prospects to have to wait until they are older (like it was in the past) because everyone has been playing with the same rules during their formative hockey years. The high amount of successful 18 year olds was a product a generation change of rules and will only be temporary.

    I have had a thought about how development of very young players has changed over the last decade and where I see it going in the future. Could maybe be a different view on the maturation of the NHL recently and was curious on the thoughts from the DNVR crew and the community as a whole.
    So in 2007’ish is when all the major rule changes were made that helped skilled players and has created the exciting brand of hockey that we watch today (for reference Mikko would have been 10 years old and he was part of the 2015 Mcdavid draft which is one of the best drafts of recent memory). This trend of 18-year olds having success in the league immediately was a result of there still being so many of the older dead puck era players who have now been pushed out of the league. At the end of the 2015 season, dino Jamie Benn led the league in points and he is a perfect example of the way the game has changed. This was also the last time that the Art Ross trophy was given out to someone with less than 100 points. Since that time the league has been dominated by the younger generation of players who have played with the new rules during their formative competitive years of youth hockey.
    The NHL landscape is completely different today than 5 years ago. In my opinion it is becoming harder for 18-year-old players to break into the league because they are now playing mature players who also grew up with the post lockout rule changes. Over the last 5 or so years the league has trended offensively, and they have learned how to play with and against high-end skill. If you look at mildly similar players like Barzal and Jack Hughes you can see quite the difference in success during their rookie years. Is Barzal a better player than Hughes? It is possible but I don’t think so. I think the league has had an influx of very skilled players the last decade and this is making it harder for the young players to break in.
    A narrative I often hear is that over the last 5 years all the best players were 18 when they came in and found success so if a player now doesn’t do the same then they are probably not as good People often overlook that all those players breaking in 5 years ago at 18 are now 23 and moving into the prime of their career and they have not gotten worse. The best scoring player in the league 5 years ago was Jamie Benn which is laughable today. So basically, I find the comparison of rookies now vs then to be a bit unfair and I think it is time we start evaluating younger players in a little bit different way. It seems like the league has finally matured with these rules and I think it will be much more common for top players to take a little more time to develop, ideally. Of course, there will always be exceptions for the truly great but that is a different conversation.
    Sorry for the long post and I hope it isn’t too confusing. I just think it is interesting how the league has changed and I think it will only get harder for 18 year olds to break into the league unless there is another massive rule change that gives them time to develop under those rules. I believe the 2015 draft class was the first-year rookies had enough time to be groomed for these rules in this generation and I think that is why there were so many more successful 18-year olds breaking in for a few years.
    P.S. I should probably put this much effort into my actual work…

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