The Avs prospects and youngsters officially report to the team for physicals and testing today. A fair amount have been in Denver for unofficial captain’s practices led by JT Compher, Tyson Jost and others over the past week at least. A good idea since they leave for the Rookie Showcase in San Jose tomorrow evening after just a single practice with the staff.
Last year the Avs hosted the Rookie Showcase at the Westminster Promenade with the Ducks and Sharks sending prospects as opponents. Fan reaction was overwhelmingly positive and so it continues in California this year with the Coyotes adding their squad for a 4-team tournament.
Schedule and Viewing Opportunities:
Saturday: Avs vs Sharks 7pm ET – Video from the Sharks site
Monday: Avs vs Coyotes 10pm ET – Video from Coyotes site
Tuesday: Avs vs Ducks 3pm ET
The gang return home after the Ducks game, perhaps they’ll practice at Family Sports Center on Wednesday but that’s TBA. Media day is Thursday and Main Camp starts a week from tomorrow.
Players with NHL experience: JT Compher, AJ Greer, Tyson Jost, Chris Bigras, Anton Lindholm, Spencer Martin
Players with AHL experience: Julien Nantel, Brady Shaw (PTO-Rampage), Shawn St-Amant (PTO-Rampage), Ben Storm (ATO), Sergei Boikov
Avs 1st Year Pros: J-C Beaudin, Alexander Kerfoot, Dominic Toninato, Nicolas Meloche, Andrei Mironov
Avs Amateur Draft Picks: Travis Barron (7th/16), Gustav Olhaver (7th/15), Josh Anderson (3rd/16), Conor Timmins (2nd/17), Petr Kvaca (4th/17)
Other Try-outs: Ty Lewis LW (Brandon-WHL), Sami Moilanen RW (Seattle-WHL), Hugo Roy C (Sherbrooke-QMJHL), Gage Ausmus D (Eagles-ECHL), Nolan De Jong D (Michigan-NCAA), Tom Gregoire D (Sherbrooke-QMJHL), Francis Leclerc G (Blainville-QMJHL)
We’re all familiar with the NHL players and even the guys who spent last year with the Rampage – Nantel, Boikov and St-Amant. Meloche and Beaudin are just turning pro but they’ve been in camps for a few years now. Barron, Anderson and Olhaver are in their 2nd or 3rd camps.
I’m excited for a couple reasons. First of all, this is our first look at Mironov, Kerfoot and Toninato with the Avs. Mironov is all but guaranteed an NHL roster spot so it’s nice to get a preview of how he’s adapting to the North American ice and play. Kerfoot and Toninato could challenge for spots on the Avs roster over the next few weeks or solidify chances to be early callups in case tragedy (or a Duchene trade) occurs.
Second, we also get first looks at this summer’s draft picks in Conor Timmins and Petr Kvaca. With Cale Makar ineligible thanks to NCAA rules, Timmins is the highest pick out of the draft and the only skater in attendance. I doubt it’s realistic he makes the Avs this season but he’s a solid player and eligible for the AHL next year due to a late birthday. Kvaca’s story coming to development camp is a good one. Found out he was drafted while at a wedding in the Czech Republic, bolted immediately for the US and traveled all day to get to camp. By the final day he was looking sharp in the nets. With the Avs goalie situation in a bit of flux at this point it would be nice to see something out of young Petr.
Last, there’s the ATOs. Gage Ausmus was the captain in North Dakota last year and signed by the Eagles a few weeks ago, but the rest are playing for contracts. Similar to Ausmus, Nolan De Jong was captain at Michigan last year and unlike the players from Junior he’s got nothing to fall back on. Former St Cloud State captain Ben Storm (Avs 6th rd pick in 2013) also is skating for a job. Ty Lewis and Hugo Roy are AHL eligible this season and looking for contracts. Moilanen, Gregoire and Leclerc are not AHL eligible but could be signed and returned to their respective junior clubs. These guys aren’t just warm bodies, each of them has good reason to make something happen while in San Jose.
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The Rookie Showcase kicks off the pre-season and our Avs coverage here at BR. We’re all pretty excited about it. Look for GDT posts on the televised games over the next few days and we’ll debut our dedicated chat for those as well. Julaugust is finally over.