The Colorado Avalanche sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators Sunday night as part of a three team deal with the Nashville Predators. The Avalanche received defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislov Kamenev, forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, along with first and second round picks in 2018, and a 2019 third round pick.
Many speculated that Avalanche GM Joe Sakic’s asking price for Duchene was too high; but after giving up only Duchene, and receiving a slue of talented young players, it is clear the Avalanche got great value in return for just one asset.
After nearly a year of speculation that Duchene was headed out of Denver, the trade came as a relief to everyone involved. After Duchene was traded mid game during the Av’s 6-4 loss to the New York Islanders, defenseman Erik Johnson told BSN Denver, “(Duchene) didn’t want to be a Colorado Avalanche anymore. The fact that he didn’t want to be a player for the team anymore, I think guys in the room were kind of waiting for it (a trade) to happen too.”
The Avalanche, in rebuilding mode after a dismal 2016-2017 campaign in which they posted a record of 22-56-4, are now loaded with nine picks in the first three round of the next two drafts.
19 year old defenseman Girard will join the Avs immediately on the third line, bringing great skating and play making ability, with understanding of playing on the blue line. While the nineteen year old lacks experience, the Avalanche are excited about his development moving forward.
21 year old forward Kamanev served as Russia’s World Junior Championship captain in 2016, leading his team to a silver medal. While Kamanev has showed some offensive inconsistency over his career, he is a reliable two way player and excels as a penalty killer. He will join the Av’s minor league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, but is expected to see time with the Avalanche this season.
18 year old forward Shane Bowers, a freshman at Boston University, and veteran goaltender Andrew Hammond, will cross the border from Ottawa and hope to make an impact on the Avalanche in the future. Bowers will remain at Boston, for now, while Hammond, who has posted a 27-14-6 record with a 2.31 goals-against average in 55 career NHL games, will report to the San Antonio Rampage. While Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has played well thus far this season, he can be extremely inconsistent, which could open a door for Hammond down the road.
The future is bright for the Colorado Avalanche. The strong group of young players acquired in the Duchene trade will join a team already loaded with young talent; and with nine draft picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts, the sky seems to be the limit for Colorado.