ClutchBet ranked the best Avalanche players of all time, and the team could use some of them next season, that’s for sure.
The Colorado Avalanche will need a few of the players on the roster to either step up their performances or find a role they haven’t been able to nail down to stay at or near the top of the Central Division and advance further in the playoffs than they did last season.
The Avalanche have a little bit more financial space to work with now that Gabriel Landeskog has officially been ruled out for the 2023–24 season, but this isn’t the strongest free agency class available.
Although coach Chris MacFarland has his work cut out for him, there are other ways to develop as well. For the team to improve, some internal changes must be made.
The Avalanche will be a Stanley Cup contender and we predict them to finish second in the Central Division for the 2023-24 NHL season.
Improvements the Colorado Avalanche need to make
It is true that for the Colorado Avalanche to be ready for next season, a few members of the team will need to show progress in particular areas:
Jonathan Drouin is hoping a change of scenery in Colorado will reinvigorate his career.
He lost his way playing in Montreal the past four seasons battling with injuries and losing his scoring touch.
He hopes to rejuvenate his NHL career in Colorado, playing behind his pal Nathan MacKinnon. Drouin played all over the lineup in Montreal, shifting from center to wing to center. Injury contributed to this, and switching from line to line made it difficult to establish consistency.
Perhaps there were too many expectations after the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted Drouin third overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He has not lived up to the expectations of a third overall pick, and right now he is a bust.
Does he still have the potential to be a second-line center in Colorado? The Avs hope so, as this would help the team finally fill that second-line center spot after Nazem Kadri’s departure two years ago.
Currently, over a career that spans nine seasons, he has 281 points in 485 games played and 21 playoffs points in 33 games played.
There is no doubt about Bowen Byram’s competence. He has an NHL point production rate of .472 points per game. The issue is that he has only been able to play in 91 regular-season games over three seasons.
Although some weaknesses in Byram’s game still require improvement, being available and healthy is crucial.
Byram is an exceptional skater and fits in perfectly to the Avs high tempo play.
With his excellent hockey sense and sound defensive play, he is a workhorse who rapidly processes the play.
If he can avoid injury this season, a combo of Cale Makar and Byram will make it tough for many teams to play against.
Based on his previous season’s play in the minors, Meyers has an inside track on a bottom-six role for the upcoming campaign. Meyers had great underlying statistics in 2022–23, and even as a rookie, he excelled in the face–off circle. He really found his footing late in the season after being reassigned to the AHL, which led to another call-up to the NHL.
He put up 24 points (6g, 18a) in 30 games for the AHL Colorado Eagles.
The underlying statistics support the widespread opinion that Meyers can secure a spot in the bottom six. Predictions are that it will happen this season; if it does, the forward group will appear far better.
Colorado Avalanche Predictions 2023-24
We predict the Colorado Avalanche will finish second in the Central Division behind the Dallas Stars.
It will be a close battle, but with the loss of Gabriel Landeskog and the Avs’ lack of a bonified second-line center, we are giving the node to the Stars for winning the Central Division.
The Avs will have a good playoff run, but they will not be Stanley Cup champions this year.
Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup
Artturi Lehkonen ($4,500,000)
Nathan MacKinnon ($12,600,000)
Mikko Rantanen ($9,250,000)
Valeri Nichushkin ($6,125,000)
Ryan Johansen ($4,000,000)
Ross Colton ($4,000,000)
Miles Wood ($2,500,000)
Jonathan Drouin ($825,000)
Logan O’Connor ($1,050,000)
Andrew Cogliano ($825,000)
Ben Meyers ($775,000)
Fredrik Olofsson ($775,000)
Cale Makar ($9,000,000)
Devon Toews ($4,100,000)
Samuel Girard ($5,000,000)
Josh Manson ($4,500,000)
Kurtis MacDermid ($987,500)
Bowen Byram ($3,850,000)
Extra: Jack Johnson ($775,000)
Alexandar Georgiev ($3,400,000)
Pavel Francouz ($2,000,000)
Avs Roster Details
Roster Size: 21
Salary Cap: $83,500,000
Bonus Overages: $637,500
Cap Hit: $81,475,000
Cap Space: $2,025,000
Central Division predicted standings