It’s that time of year again, where the Avs bloggers get together around the virtual conference table, and hash out what the season is going to look like. There were a ton of bloggers involved this year (I remember when there were 3 Avs blogs, and two were on their way out the door), and they all deserve your patronage. Look for links to all the participants at the bottom of the post (shamelessly lifted from Mile High Hockey).
On to the question I’m hosting.
What Rookie other than Duchene are you most excited to see?
Jay Vean of the excellent Avs Hockey Podcast says:
I’m actually looking forward to seeing two rookies this season. TJ Galiardi showed some promise late in the season last year. It may be fun to see him in an extended stint with the big club. And the big guys that play a power game in front of the net always get my attention, so I’m hoping that Ryan Stoa can prove to be that guy in the future for our Avs.
Past this season, I’m excited to see if David Shattenkirk can effectively make the jump to the NHL as well.
Jori from the Avs Prospects Blog said:
Ryan Stoa and TJ Galiardi are going to be more popular choices, but I’m going to go with Brandon Yip and Justin Mercier. Their paths to the NHL will be more difficult, but both are tenacious forwards who rarely take a shift off. Brandon Yip can get into penalty trouble, but he also scored some clutch goals during his tenure as a Boston University Terrier. Justin Mercier is the forgotten piece of the disastrous Tommy Salo trade. Mercier made the shift to left-wing during his college career at Miami and is a great penalty killer.
Neither player will be a star as a pro, but I’ve always been fond of underdogs. Yip may max out as a fourth line NHL forward if he makes it, and Mercier could make it up to the third line, but both are fun players to watch and are easy to root for.
DDC from Mile High Hockey:
Ryan Stoa’s potential as a big winger is tantalizing, but I have to admit I’m really intrigued by Brandon Yip. I haven’t seen him yet, but he sounds like he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. The way he’s been described reminds me of Dan Hinote. That’s not a bad thing in my book.
Mike from Mile High Hockey:
I’m going with the boutique answers on this one: Either Galiardi or Stoa. Late rumors have Stoa not making the big club at the start of the season. I hope he’s the first forward called up for injury it that’s the case. I’m pulling for Galiardi because the other TJ isn’t in the popular group anymore and I think every hockey team needs a TJ who can contribute. It’s like a karmic rule or something.
Shane from Colorado Avalanche Talk:
Now that he’s signed a contract and it looks like he’ll be with the team for at least the first 10 games, I’m quite excited to watch Ryan O’Reilly play. He snuck in under the radar – that’s right, I went there – but has really opened a few eyes up. By the time this is posted I could look like a fool but I have a feeling that he’s got a shot at the 3rd-line center slot. With the way he works compared to the way Hensick works, I’d give him a shot there to start the season.
As far as I’m concerned, I would like to see Galiardi have the season we expect him to have in the NHL after seeing what he has done in the NHL. With Joe Sacco, his coach from Lake Erie behind the Avs bench, there SHOULDN’T be any reason he can’t perform at this level. Or we are basically looking at another Dan Hinote story. And don’t get me wrong, I love Dan Hinote, but what he was in the AHL and what he was in the NHL were two different things.
But can Tyler Weiman be considered a rookie? If so, I’m totally in the bag for him.
Your Roundtable participants:
Mike and DDC: MHH
Shane Giroux: Avs Talk
Jibblescribbits and thedoctor: Jibblescribbits
Angelique: Colorado Avalanche Prospects
GEO: Avslova Factor
Jay: The Avs Hockey Podcast
Justin and Zach: Avalanche Guild
Adam Hersh: Avalanche of Thoughts
Nic Zamora: Avaholics Anonymous
Matt Jordan: Mile High Mayhem
Sean Payton: Anyone But Detroit
Magnum: Disgruntled Avalanche Blogger
Brian Thompson: Colorado Examiner
Tapeleg: Jerseys and Hockey Love
Aaron D’Albey from The Dog and Pony Show
Make sure you visit their blogs, and support the Avalanche blogging community.