The 2013 season was a massive disappointment for the Colorado Avalanche. What started as a year with some high hopes for at least a playoff appearance, given their solid core of offensive talent, ended with a variety of injuries, poor defensive play, a lack of a supporting cast on offense, and an inconsistent goaltender.
Safe to say, nothing went quite right for the Avalanche this season. But if there’s on issue that the front office will be focusing on this summer, it’s in the defensive end. Aside from the fact that they’ll likely draft Seth Jones with the no. 1 overall pick in this month’s draft, they also have a solid group of young blue liners coming up through the ranks.
That group is led by Tyson Barrie. Barrie saw quite a bit of time with the Avalanche in 2013, appearing in 32 games for the club, after a 10-game cup of coffee in 2011-2012. He had 13 points from the blue line and projects as a force as an offensive defenseman for the Avs.
One guy who hasn’t seen time at this point, but should see plenty next year, is Duncan Siemens. Unlike Barrie, Siemens is a physical presence on defense for Colorado. He’s solid offensively, as well as defensively, and should log big minutes in the top four for this team in the very near future.
Stefan Elliot is a guy that the Avalanche have seen up, but he hasn’t been able to stick quite yet. Long term, he’s another offensive defenseman that can move the puck up from the defensive zone. He appeared in 39 games for the Avs in 2011-2012, but only 18 during the 2013 season, finishing with only four points. Nonetheless, he’s another kid that looks like he has a bright future.
Assuming Barrie and Elliot are in Colorado beyond next season, as each of their entry level deals will expire after 2013-14, there’s a pretty bright future on the Avalanche blue line. Between Jones, assuming he’s the pick, Barrie, Elliot, and Siemens, the Avalanche have a group that has the potential to not only be solid defensively, but also has the potential to be an offensive weapon.