The Colorado Avalanche entered the 2013 season with high expectations for young forward Gabriel Landeskog. They named Landeskog as the youngest captain in league history following a Calder Trophy-winning 2012 season, a huge honor that also came with huge responsibility. As a rookie, Landeskog scored 22 goals and had 52 points as the Avalanche won 41 games but did not make the playoffs. This season, he battled injury and managed only nine goals and 17 points in 36 games. The Avalanche will need him to contribute in a big way next season, and his recent performance at the 2013 IIHF World Championship seems to be a good sign that things are back on track.
Landeskog was part of the gold medal winning team from Sweden, and he tied for third on the team with three goals. He also led the team in shots on goal, which is a great sign for an Avalanche team that finished 26th in the league in goals per game. Even when surrounded by top talent like Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Loui Eriksson, Landeskog didn’t seem to be afraid to take shots and create his own scoring opportunities. He was also a member of the team for the 2012 World Championship (one goal, five points), and in 2011 he represented Sweden at the World Junior Championship.
The Avalanche will have a new coach when the 2013-14 season kicks off, but most of their roster will remain intact. Landeskog will be looked to for a bounce-back year offensively, and if he delivers the Avalanche could be back in the playoff hunt.