The 2020-21 season will be the first full one in charge for new Avalanche GM Josh Lewis, and he's already put his stamp on the roster.
A flurry of off-season trades and free agent signings will see the Colorado lineup looking much different than it did at the end of last season. The Avalanche have an entirely new top defense pairing, starting goalie and several bottom six forwards.
In: Jordan Staal, Logan Shaw, Brayden Point, Kirill Marchenko, Greg Nemisz
Out: Sam Bennett, Michael Frolik, Ryan Martindale, Jakub Vrana, Mackenzie Entwistle, Jason Cotton
The Avs greatly upgraded their back end and goaltending, but at what cost to their offense? Top line talent Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik were traded to bring in Dion Phaneuf and Dmitry Kulikov. Colorado had an excess of scoring forwards, and now those remaining will be counted on to step into big roles. Ivan Barbashev and Janne Kuokkanen are expected to move to the top line alongside Mitch Marner. All three are skilled playmakers, but will they score enough goals?
The Avs will shift Mirko Hoefflin to centre on the second line to cover the loss of Bennett. He'll be flanked by Matthew Freytag on the left side, and either Matthew Beattie or Ty Dellandrea on the right. Hoefflin had a strong bounce-back season in 2019-20, as did Beattie between the Oilers and Avs. Freytag looked good in a 24-game callup late last year, with 16 points. Still, there's no doubt this top six group will have to score by committee.
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