Colorado Avalanche get a Forward to fill a key role.
The Colorado Avalanche have been looking for a way to fill a role in the forward core. With the departures of NazemKadri and Andre Burakovsky, Colorado someone needed to step into a role on the wing.
They might have just found it.
As reported by Chris Johnston, the Avs are signing Pittsburgh forward Evan Rodrigues to a one-year, $2 million deal. Whether he plays on the second line or on the bottom six is to be determined. But this adds much-needed depth scoring for Colorado.
How Evan Rodrigues Fits In the Avs’ System
Evan Rodrigues is the kind of forward Jared Bednar makes great use of. He won’t rack up the stats sheet, but he will fit in perfectly. He’s a forward with decent scoring output and helps with puck movement. He had a career year last season, throwing up 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points. He’s a good passer, which will thrive in Colorado’s system. If he plays on the second line with Valeri Nichushkin and (potentially) Alex Newhook, he will have plenty of chances to score and set up scores.
If he plays on the third line, he’ll still have plenty of chances to put up good numbers. With line mates like JT Compher, Darren Helm, or Logan O’Connor, he’ll have the chance to boost the production on the bottom six. Colorado’s third and fourth lines were key to their Cup victory during the playoffs. Adding a player like Rodrigues is a win-win for the Colorado Avalanche.
What the Colorado Avalanche can do for Evan Rodrigues
Colorado has a crack for working any asset they get into their system. From Jack Johnson, to Kurtis MacDermid, to Andre Burakovsky, the Avalanche know how to get players going. Valeri Nichushkin is their greatest reclamation project to date. From a player who couldn’t score a goal, to one of the top snipers in the NHL. Rodrigues is walking into a locker room with a winning culture, a healthy foundation, and the mindset of playing as one. He’ll be playing with leaders like Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen.
Jared Bednar and his coaching staff have a history of quickly integrating players into the lineup. They will help Evan Rodrigues work into the lineup in no time. They are known for maximizing assets and using them to their advantage. If Rodrigues develops into what Burakovsky, Nichushkin, or Lehkonen were, then this will be a monster steal for the Avalanche.
This is a great deal for Colorado and for Rodrigues. At only $2 million, this is proof of what a championship culture provides for a team. Players will be willing to come cheaper in the hopes of winning a ring. Chris MacFarland had the task of shoring up a defending champion in his first offseason as general manager. So far, he’s doing everything that’s been asked of him.