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Top 25 Avalanche Under 25: #10 Dennis Everberg

Cole Hamilton Avatar
May 20, 2015

 

At long last we count down the top 10 of the Top 25 Avalanche Under 25 series.  If you missed them earlier in the week, be sure to check out the players who just missed out on a top 10 spot: #11 Duncan Siemens#12 Conner Bleackley, and #13 Freddie Hamilton.

Today the big “Swedish Bull” Dennis Everberg goes under the microscope at #10 overall. The big rookie winger averaged a 10.0 ranking from our BSN Avalanche writers with rankings ranging from 9th to 12th.

Who is Dennis Everberg?

Dennis Everberg is a big two-way winger who excels in transition and has a nose for the front of the net. The undrafted 23 year old steadily played his way up the ranks of Swedish hockey before signing a contract with the Avalanche and making his rookie debut last season. Everberg started the season with limited ice time, but saw his role increase throughout the season, taking on challenging defensive assignments, some penalty killing time, and earning ice time in critical empty net situations late in games.

Everberg plays a simple and effective north south game. He loves to carry the puck on his stick and with his big frame and powerful skating, he is extremely effective at transitioning the puck through the neutral zone. In the offensive zone Everberg is willing shoot from anywhere and when he doesn’t have the puck, he has a nose for the front of the net.



What is the future for Dennis Everberg?

When the Avalanche signed Dennis Everberg to an Entry Level Contract last summer, the prevailing logic was that he and the 18th ranked Borna Rendulic would both spend their first season with the Avalanche adjusting to North American hockey in the AHL. Then, with time and development both players could eventually earn depth positions on the NHL roster. Of course that’s not how things worked out.

A rash of injuries starting in training camp saw both Everberg and Rendulic make their NHL debuts earlier than planned. With Jamie McGinn and Patrick Bordeleau on the shelf, Dennis Everberg made the opening night roster for the Avalanche but was limited to just 55 games due to a pair of shoulder injuries and demotions to the AHL. Even when Everberg was playing a pivotal role on the third line with Alex Tanguay and John Mitchell, Coach Patrick Roy was outspoken about his belief that a full year in the AHL would have benefited the young Swedish power forward.

While Everberg’s point totals (3 goals and 12 points in 55 games) were pedestrian, his two-way play and dominance carrying the puck may have already earned him a spot on next year’s roster if not for a shoulder injury which ended his season.  In April, Terry Frei at the Denver Post reported that Everberg would undergo shoulder surgery with a 6-8 month recovery time.

The initial injury timeline would see Everberg ready for action sometime between October and December, and with the return of roster regulars Jamie McGinn and Patrick Bordeleau, a late start could force Everberg back to the AHL. In a more recent Swedish interview, however, Everberg assured fans that he would be healthy before training camp starts in September.

Regardless of the injury, this summer is pivotal for Dennis Everberg.  In his weekly radio appearances Patrick Roy frequently proclaimed that Everberg could be one of the best third line forwards in the NHL if he added 10 lbs of muscle to his lanky 6’4″ frame. In the same Swedish interview Everberg emphasized the importance of getting stronger for his second NHL season.  If he adds significant muscle mass in the offseason Everberg could transform from a steady possession winger to a physical force on the ice.

There’s still plenty of room for Everberg to grow as a player, but fans should keep in mind that he has a low offensive ceiling. 10-15 goals and 30 points would constitute an exceptional season for Everberg, who should see most of his growth on the physical and defensive sides of the game. Everberg will make his living in this league in the mold of players like Daniel Winnik, by becoming a staunch defensive player with a physical presence and great possession numbers

 

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