Eight UFA Forwards That Could Make Sense For The Avalanche

Colorado Hockey Now

If you’ve come here looking for a list of top six forwards the Colorado Avalanche can go out and buy this summer, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Outside of potentially re-signing Jonathan Drouin on or before July 1, I wouldn’t expect any big splashes from the Avalanche. They really just don’t have the money to go out there and bring in a big name. And if we’re being honest, this is probably not the free agent class to do that.

While it doesn’t look too bad at the top right now, I’d say there’s a good chance the Panthers re-sign Sam Reinhart, taking him off the market. Carolina is trying to get Jake Guentzel locked down, and I just have a hard time seeing Steven Stamkos leaving Tampa Bay. Without those three, an already poor free agent class gets even worse.

Where the Avalanche are likely to spend their time shopping is in the bargain bin. With 66% of their postseason bottom six heading towards unrestricted free agent, change is expected. Colorado could still bring back a few of them, but it’s always a good idea to bring in some fresh blood. Here’s a few that make sense for Colorado to talk to this summer, and let me warn you ahead of time – this is not the most exciting list of players.

Viktor Arvidsson

Arvidsson is different from most of the other options on here because, when healthy, he’s a top six forward. He just wasn’t healthy at all last year, playing in just 18 games.

If he’s interested, he’s the type of guy the Avalanche could talk into taking a one-year deal, selling him on the idea of, staying healthy, playing with some good players, and hitting the market again next year. He’s not a big guy, and there’s no guarantee of health, but his speed would fit in nicely in Colorado. Seeing as how he still put up 15 points in 18 games, teams could always offer him more than what Colorado could, but the Avalanche would be selling him on the idea of making more money in the long run if he bets on himself.

Jason Zucker

We talked about him a bit last year, but then he took a ridiculously expensive one year deal in Arizona, one I certainly wouldn’t have given him. Likely on the decline at this point in his career, but could still provide some depth up front.

William Carrier

This guy has been a pain in the butt for the Avalanche to play against for years, so why not try and add him?

He has trouble staying in the lineup, but is someone who would bring a nasty edge to the bottom six, something they probably could use. He’s also a pretty good player, if we’re being honest. A Duhaime replacement (and upgrade) if it were to happen.

Christian Fischer

He’s beloved everywhere he goes, even if he isn’t a household name. They loved him in Arizona, and I’ve heard the same in Detroit. Made just a little over $1 million last season, and only put up 19 points, so he won’t break the bank. A big, right shot winger who can skate and plays physical. If you’re going to be big and want to play for the Avalanche, you have to be able to skate, and Fischer can do that.

Kevin Stenlund

A big, big center who was drafted in Columbus when Chris MacFarland was still a part of that organization.

He’s huge and leads Florida in shorthanded time-on-ice per game this postseason. He’s not a point producer, but is good in the face-off circle and could come cheaper than Yakov Trenin.

Danton Heinen

This guy gets squeezed out every single year in free agency, but he always finds a job and performs well. Scored 36 points for Boston this year making the league minimum salary.

Could he get paid more in free agency? He certainly could, but we’re looking at three straight summers where he hasn’t been able to lock down that big payday. If it happens again, the Avalanche need to give him a call.

Teddy Blueger

Might be a little too pricey for the Avalanche (made $1.9 million last year), but a fine depth forward and a strong penalty killer. He’s coming off his most productive season in the NHL with 28 points, but is a really smart player who can be trusted by the coaches.

Mattias Janmark

The Avalanche have shown interest in Janmark before, and he just keeps hanging around at the NHL level. This past season was his least productive in the NHL, but he’s been a regular for the Edmonton Oilers this postseason. That means he might come relatively cheap this summer. Only one forward on the Oilers has been used more on the PK than Janmark this postseason.

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