The Colorado Avalanche have gotten off to a rough start this season, and as injuries continue to mount, the team will turn to some of its young prospects and see what they can do. Ryan O’Reilly remains out due to a contract dispute, Gabriel Landeskog is sidelined with a concussion and Steve Downie will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Mark Olver, Tyson Barrie, Patrick Bordeleau and Mike Sgarbossa are all getting an extended look in Colorado, after playing for the AHL Lake Erie Monsters during the lockout.
Olver has spent at least some time with the Avs in each of the past two seasons, and has six goals in 48 games. He hasn’t done much yet this season, but should see his ice time increase moving forward. Barrie got a 10-game look in the NHL last season, and if he continues to play well he could be in Colorado to stay. He had six goals and 27 points for the Monsters during the lockout, but has yet to register a point in 13 NHL games.
Bordeleau’s role is pretty straightforward – he is a fighter, and isn’t going to put up much offensively. He’s only seen five minutes of ice time this season, but has 21 penalty minutes already. Sgarbossa is an exciting young prospect who was having a very good AHL rookie season before the lockout ended. He had 16 goals and 36 points through 38 games, and made his NHL debut in Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks. He saw time on the power play, either a sign of how much the team is hurting or a testament to his skill. If injuries continue to mount this season, the Avalanche need to hope that these youngsters can provide a spark for the team and contribute at both ends of the ice.