Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Top prospects for Colorado Avalanche

1. Cale Makar, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 4 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: University of Massachusetts Amherst (NCAA): 34 GP, 5-16-21
Makar, 19, is returning to UMass for his sophomore year after being named to the Hockey East all-rookie and third all-star teams as a freshman. He's a smooth skater with plenty of offensive upside.
"He plays fast, he's skilled, he has the ability to be a game changer," said Alan Hepple, Colorado's director of amateur scouting. "The sky's the limit for him. He's the generational player that everybody's looking for now."
Makar (5-foot-11, 187 pounds) had 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his final 22 games at UMass last season after helping Canada win the gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship with eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
2. Conor Timmins, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 32 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 36 GP, 8-33-41
Timmins, 19, signed a three-year, entry-level contract in March and could push for a spot on a crowded defense, but he probably will begin this season with the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League. He is expected to be ready for training camp after being held out of on-ice drills at development camp in June, when he was recovering from an ankle injury and concussion he sustained during the Ontario Hockey League season.
"He had an amazing camp [last season]," general manager Joe Sakic said. "There were some people [in the organization] that didn't want to send him back [to junior], but we thought it was best for his development. Over the course of the year, he got better."
Timmins (6-2, 184) had five points (one goal, four assists) in seven games for Canada at the 2018 WJC.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
3. Vladislav Kamenev, F
How acquired: Trade from Nashville Predators on Nov. 5, 2017
Last season: Colorado: 3 GP, 0-0-0; Milwaukee (AHL): 10 GP, 3-5-8; San Antonio (AHL): 7 GP, 0-8-8
Kamenev, who turns 22 on Aug. 12, is an excellent playmaker who has shown he can score at the AHL level with 105 points (39 goals, 65 assists) in 144 games. Selected by the Ottawa Senators in the second round (No. 42) in the 2014 NHL Draft, Kamenev (6-2, 194) was acquired in the three-team trade that sent center Matt Duchene to the Senators. Kamenev missed 50 games last season after he broke his arm in his Avalanche debut against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 16.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
4. Martin Kaut, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 16 pick in 2018 NHL Draft
Last season: Pardubice (Czech Extraliga): 38 GP, 9-7-16
Kaut, who turns 19 on Oct. 2, is expected to make his North American debut with Colorado of the AHL after playing against older pros in his native Czech Republic. Kaut (6-2, 176) is a strong skater but needs to mature physically. He had seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven games at the 2018 WJC.
"He plays hard all over the ice, and like every young player, he'll keep getting stronger and quicker," Sakic said. "We're excited about his potential to be a top-six winger who can score goals."
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
5. Shane Bowers, F
How acquired: Trade from Ottawa Senators on Nov. 5, 2017
Last season: Boston University (NCAA): 40 GP, 17-15-32
Bowers, 19, is returning to BU for his sophomore year after he was its third-leading scorer as a freshman and was named to the Hockey East all-rookie team. Selected by the Senators with the No. 28 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Bowers (6-1, 183) had 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists) in 116 games in two seasons with Waterloo of the United States Hockey League before entering college.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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