2014-15 record: 39-31-12 (90 points)
7th place in the Central Division, 11th place in the Western Conference
Goals For: 219
Goals Against: 227
Power Play: 15.0% (29)
Penalty Kill: 84.6% (5)
Team Faceoff Pct: 50.8% (14)
Key Offseason Moves
2015 Top Draft Pick: Round 1 – Pick 10 – F Mikko Rantanen
Additions: Carl Soderberg, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Francois Beauchemin, Blake Comeau, J.T. Compher
Subtractions: Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie McGinn
- Are the Avs better or worse heading into 2015-16? BETTER
Their leading scorers last year were on opposite ends of the age spectrum: now 38-year-old Jarome Iginla and 21-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, who both posted 59 points in 82 games. The other ancient warrior on the payroll, 34-year-old Alex Tanguay, has one year left on his deal but finished with as many points – 55 – as Matt Duchene and O’Reilly last season.
Soderberg might be five and a half years older than O’Reilly, but his offensive production (92 points in the last two seasons) has been consistent in Boston and he’s a big body center. Grigorenko had been enigmatic in Buffalo since the Sabres made him the 12th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, but he earned that high draft status playing exceptionally well for current Avs coach Patrick Roy with the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL.
Zadorov is a massive kid (6-5, 235) who only turned 20 in mid-April this year. Adding him and Beauchemin to the blue line will make the Avs tougher to play against this year than they were in 2014-15, when Colorado nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
- Will Colorado be a playoff team this year? Maybe
They need more than 64 games from Nathan MacKinnon. They need more than 47 games from Erik Johnson. And they need Duchene and Landeskog to take the next step as both superstars and leaders in the league for them to climb in the best division in the NHL.