From the Rampage Desk: Season Opener

It’s been tough to get a handle on what the beloved Rampage’s roster will look like this year. The Avs didn’t sign any mercenary vets this summer and the curious situation of the St Louis Blues not having an AHL affiliate has added quite a few players to the talent pool. What we have now is a 25 man roster that looks quite competitive. I’m optimistic and perhaps for the first time it’s justified.

With 2017 St Louis 1st rounder Klim Kostin re-assigned to San Antonio and healthy, the Blues have 6 players on the roster – 3 forwards (Kostin, Samuel Blais, Adam Musil), 2 defensemen (Jordan Schmaltz, Chris Butler) and Ville Husso in net. Wonder if they ever have Blues/Avs scrimmages in practice. I hope so. There were a few other STL fellows in camp that were re-assigned to Tulsa.

The Avs have 16 contracted players on the team – 10 forwards (Colborne, Toninato, Girard, Grimaldi, Vogelhuber, Agozzino, Petryk, Nantel, Beaudin, Bourque), 5 defensemen (Geertsen, Warsofsky, Siemens, Meloche, Graham) and Martin as the goalie.

Forwards Shawn St-Amant, Brendan Ranford and Alex Belzile are the lone AHL contracts currently on the team.

The last practice info on lines from our good friend Dan Weiss came on Wednesday and before Colborne and Kostin were around. Here’s what was out there:

Attack
Blais – Agozzino – Grimaldi
Ranford – Belzile – Petryk
Vogelhuber – Girard – Musil
Nantel(NC) – Toninato – Beaudin
Bourque not skating

D
Butler – Schmaltz
Siemens – Meloche
Geertsen – Graham
Warsofsky not skating

Colborne and Kostin should be available so there will be some changes to the lines.

That’s a pretty stout group. Compared to what I’ve thought in the past looked like decent AHL lineups it looks pretty fantastic. Also remember that AJ Greer is still in Colorado dealing with a concussion and Sergei Boikov is out long-term with a separated shoulder. Shawn St-Amant was injured at the Rookie showcase and is still out. There are a fair amount of different looks that Eric Veilleux can give this team depending on the opponent. Add to that some players on the Eagles, Gladiators and Drillers that he can choose to bring up if need be and depth isn’t the concern it’s been in the past.

The downside is that there will be further cuts barring injuries and we might start to see some Avs prospects with real potential facing life in the ECHL so Joe Colborne can play out his contract. Not good. This is the difficult balance a development staff goes through. A competitive team is a goal and a good thing for all involved but measuring that gain against developing the youngest pros in the system is something that has to be done carefully. When the pro scouts & player personnel department make a poor decision, sometimes the development staff are the ones that have to sweep it under the rug. If the dev staff compound the mistake by sacrificing youth & talent for experience on the AHL roster it gets to be a long-term issue. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that this year.

Rampage vs Reign

Tonight the Ontario Reign come to town to kick off the season at the AT&T Center. Game time is 8pm ET, 7pm local. As is usually the case the Reign have a roster full of big physical players and Mike Stothers will have them playing a heavy possession style. While they’re trying to grind everyone to death the Rampage will hopefully be skating right by them and taking advantage of our good friend Jack Campbell’s weak spots in goal.

Links

– JP, Nate and Topher have this year’s premiere of Running With the Herd Live for your pre-game enjoyment.

– Rampage up-to-the-minute Roster

– Listen live to tonight’s game on Ticket760

– The RWtH fellows will have a GDT chat in their discord server. Stop by and say hi.

– Finally a couple videos featuring Aggz and veteran defenseman from the Blues org Chris Butler. Enjoy.

 

Special thanks to the San Antonio Rampage for the Training Camp Videos and Feature Photo and to Dan Weiss for sharing his practice info.

 

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