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Avs Rookie Camp Day Two Notes

There was a bit of a delay to the start of day two of Avalanche rookie camp. However, the atmosphere was jovial. By 10:30 AM all of Monday’s participants were skating on the ice. There was however a new addition. Alexis Pepin, who is nursing a shoulder injury, took part of the beginning of the practice wearing a red non-contact sweater.

The coaches, which included Adam Foote today, demanded perfection from the players. The crispness of the beginning of the session was somewhat lacking (though ice conditions certainly did not help). After about 20 minutes into the practice, Alexis Pepin appeared to be laboring and left the ice and headed to the locker room. His status is unknown. Also missing from the festivities is center Julien Nantel, who is recovering from an undisclosed injury.

Throughout the practice, the coaches had little problem interrupting drills for some on ice learning. At the conclusion of the session, the players participated in a bag skate that lasted a good 10 minutes.

Here are my thoughts on some players who I thought stood out. If you have a question about a particular player, please post a comment below or hit me up on Twitter (@Jori5280).

Conner Bleackley

The Avs 2014 first rounder has the skill set that makes a camp such as this a less than preferable setting. He’s a more effective skater than given credit and he’s not afraid to battle in the corners and in front of the net. It’s really difficult to grade him until he skates with the veterans this weekend. Some of the defenders, such as Duncan Siemens and Mason Geertsen, are giving him a good challenge.

Duncan Siemens

Siemens, who just turned 21, is at a precarious point of his career. He was limited to 46 games with the Lake Erie Monsters last season and faces an uphill battle to earn a position with the Avs opening night roster. Siemens is likely to be an injury call up, but he has looked strong in the first two days of rookie camp; physically standing up to guys like Bleackley. There were some cracks in the wall on Tuesday, specifically on two-on-two drills in which Nate Condon blew by him to earn a great scoring chance. Yet, he’s healthy and strong which will only bode well for him this season with the Monsters.

Colin Smith

One of the darlings of Monday’s session, Smith was held relatively in check on Tuesday morning. His skating was not as fluid and his lack of focus was noticeable in receiving passes (to be fair, the ice conditions could be a contributing factor, but his play was not as crisp). He was easily contained by larger defenders and had difficulty getting shots on net.

Chris Bigras

Like last year, Bigras is putting up a strong push in camp. Bigras has already earned an entry-level contract (which the Avs can allow to slide for another season). While he isn’t the most physical of defenders, he’s smart positionally (stick work continues to be a strength). Though, Trevor Cheek did get the better of him in one of the drills this morning.

Mason Geertsen

Mason Geertsen doesn’t steal headlines like more flashy prospects; few defensive defenseman do. Yet, like Duncan Siemens he could one day fill a needed role as a rugged defender for the Avalanche down the road. He’s a strong and physical presence and at the peak of conditioning. He was one of the few players who got through the Avs post practice bag skate without gasping for air. Geertsen was successful in keeping most of the forwards he faced in check; specifically Bleackley and Rendulic.

Borna Rendulic

Rendulic is an intriguing talent; a strong skater with a nice set of hands. He is good at stabilizing defenders on the rush. However, in tighter corners he has struggled. Naturally this will be adjustment playing on North American ice with more North American players.

Others who stood out in a positive light included Troy Bourke, Trevor Cheek, and Nate Condon.

See Also: Rookie Camp Day 2 Review from Mile High Hockey

Avs Rookie Camp Day One Notes

I want to direct you to a great piece written by A.J. Haefele from Mile High Hockey on Monday's festivities. His views of many of the participants reflect my own. The second link is also from Mile High Hockey, which contains video clips.

Rookie Camp Day 1 Review

Rookie Camp Day 1 Video

The Avalanche invited 28 rookies to attend camp this year; which includes many draftees from the Avs 2013 and 2014 draft classes. Alexis Pepin, a fourth round pick from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, is not participating due to a shoulder injury.

Avs Rookie Camp Roster by Number

Avs Rookie Camp Roster by Position

Also not attendance are 2013 draftees in Will Butcher and Ben Storm; NCAA regulations require collegiate players to pay their own expenses in order to attend camp.

Nate Condon, Marcus Power, Michael Schumacher, Joey Leach, and Francois Tremblay are all signed to AHL contracts with the Lake Erie Monsters for the upcoming season. The addition of Tremblay and off-season signing of Roman Will will make the goaltending battle, along with Calvin Pickard and Sami Aittokallio, an interesting one for the Monsters.

Are Brett Clark's playing days behind him? 

Clark, a former Av, played in 53 games for the Lake Erie Monsters last season. Clark was one of the coaches on the ice for Monday's camp session.

Some notable standouts from Monday included Avs 2014 first round pick Conner Bleackley, Borna Rendulic, Colin Smith, Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens, and Mason Geertsen. Tough first days for Max Iafrate and Kyle Wood. It's important to note that the coaching staff had the players go through a specific set of drills, rather than scrimmages. The standouts for day two are likely to change.

 

Avs Rookie Camp Starts Monday

And so it begins...

After the gut wrenching loss to the Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the 2014 NHL Playoffs, the Avalanche will take to the ice when the team opens up its three-day rookie camp on Monday. The Avalanche stunned the NHL world by winning the Central Division and several national pundits are predicting a downfall for the young Avs this upcoming season.

Whether the analysts turn out to be right or not, the team will have to adjust to the loss of center Paul Stastny. Yet, the veteran presence of Jerome Iginla will certainly help. It also remains to be seen whether the team made enough improvements to a mediocre defensive corps. Nevertheless, it should be an interesting ride under the tutelage of second year head coach Patrick Roy.

On-ice sessions for rookie camp will begin at 9:45 AM each morning at South Suburban Family Sports Center in Centennial, CO. The practices are free and open to the public.

Camp Schedule

Camp Preview -- Mile High Hockey

2014 Prospect Signing Tracker (updated)

Updated:  Condon, Moffatt, Vincour

CHL (June 1, 2014)*

Joseph Blandisi, Barrie (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

Troy Bourke, Prince George (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/29/2014.

Michael Clarke, Peterborough (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

NCAA (August 15, 2014)*

Nate Condon, Minnnesota (Big Ten) -- signed a one-year contact with Lake Erie (AHL) on 09/02/2014.

Luke Moffatt, Michigan (Big Ten) -- signs a tryout with Frölunda (SHL) on 09/03/2014.

Gus Young, Yale (ECAC) -- signed a one-year contract with Worcester (AHL) on 08/19/2014.

*Avs lose rights if players not signed by specified deadline date.

Other Signings/ Transactions

Cody Corbett, Edmonton (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/04/2014.

Dennis Everberg, Rögle (SWE) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/16/2014.

Samuel Henley, Val-d'Or (QMJHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/28/2014

Roman Will, BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech2) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/15/2014.

Borna Rendulic, HPK (Liiga) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/19/2014.

Bruno Gervais, Philadelphia (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Ben Street, Calgary (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Maxim Noreau, Ambri-Piotta (NLA) -- signed a two-year (one-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/07/2014.

Tomas Vincour, HC Kometa Brno (Czech) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 08/29/2014.

Expiring NHL Contracts (In the System (two-way contracts)/ Players Coming off ELC)

Tyson Barrie (RFA)

Paul Carey (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014. 

Guillaume Desbiens (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Dornbirner EC (Austria) on 08/01/2014.

Stefan Elliott (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Joey Hishon (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Matt Hunwick (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with New York (Rangers - NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Bryan Lerg (UFA) -- signed a one-year contact with San Jose (NHL) on 07/10/2014.

Brad Malone (UFA) -- signed a two-year contract with Carolina (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Kieran Millan (UFA) -- announced retirement from professional hockey on 07/25/2014.

Mark Olver (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Sochi (KHL) on 05/26/2014.

Kent Patterson (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Orlando (ECHL) on 08/04/2014.

Karl Stollery (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

David Van der Gulik (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Los Angeles (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

J.T. Wyman (UFA)

News and Notes

Monsters Schedule Released

The American Hockey League released schedules for their clubs this week for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The Lake Erie Monsters, who are entering their eighth season, will begin regular season play on October 11th against Grand Rapids. The two clubs will also face each other in two pre-season games.

The Monsters will spend much of their 76-game schedule within the Midwest Division against the Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Milwaukee Admirals, and Rockford IceHogs. Dates for training camp have yet to be announced.

2014-15 Lake Erie Monsters Schedule

2014-15 AHL Rule Changes

Young Finds a New Home

After completing his college career at Yale and winning a national title in his junior season, Gus Young has found a professional home for the 2014-15 season. Young, who was not signed by the Colorado Avalanche this summer, will join the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate in Worcester. 

Young was a seventh round pick by the Avalanche in 2009 out of Nobles Prep. After an injury plagued freshman campaign, he put up 12 and nine points in consecutive seasons before ending his senior year with a career high in points with 18.

A regime change in Colorado and defensive depth within the system likely led the Avs to pass on keeping Young. In addition to Young, the Avs neglected to sign two other NCAA draftees in Luke Moffatt and Nate Condon; neither have yet to sign a contract with another organization.

2014 Prospect Signing Tracker (updated)

Updated:  Young, Vincour

CHL (June 1, 2014)*

Joseph Blandisi, Barrie (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

Troy Bourke, Prince George (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/29/2014.

Michael Clarke, Peterborough (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

NCAA (August 15, 2014)*

Nate Condon, Minnnesota (Big Ten) -- free agent as of 08/16/2014.

Luke Moffatt, Michigan (Big Ten) -- free agent as of 08/16/2014.

Gus Young, Yale (ECAC) -- signed a one-year contract with Worcester (AHL) on 08/19/2014.

*Avs lose rights if players not signed by specified deadline date.

Other Signings/ Transactions

Cody Corbett, Edmonton (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/04/2014.

Dennis Everberg, Rögle (SWE) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/16/2014.

Samuel Henley, Val-d'Or (QMJHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/28/2014

Roman Will, BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech2) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/15/2014.

Borna Rendulic, HPK (Liiga) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/19/2014.

Bruno Gervais, Philadelphia (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Ben Street, Calgary (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Maxim Noreau, Ambri-Piotta (NLA) -- signed a two-year (one-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/07/2014.

Tomas Vincour, HC Kometa Brno (Czech) -- signed a one-year contract with Colorado (NHL) on 08/29/2014.

Expiring NHL Contracts (In the System (two-way contracts)/ Players Coming off ELC)

Tyson Barrie (RFA)

Paul Carey (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014. 

Guillaume Desbiens (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Dornbirner EC (Austria) on 08/01/2014.

Stefan Elliott (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Joey Hishon (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Matt Hunwick (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with New York (Rangers - NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Bryan Lerg (UFA) -- signed a one-year contact with San Jose (NHL) on 07/10/2014.

Brad Malone (UFA) -- signed a two-year contract with Carolina (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Kieran Millan (UFA) -- announced retirement from professional hockey on 07/25/2014.

Mark Olver (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Sochi (KHL) on 05/26/2014.

Kent Patterson (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Orlando (ECHL) on 08/04/2014.

Karl Stollery (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

David Van der Gulik (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Los Angeles (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

J.T. Wyman (UFA)

2014 Prospect Signing Tracker (updated)

Updated:  Condon, Moffatt, Young

CHL (June 1, 2014)*

Joseph Blandisi, Barrie (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

Troy Bourke, Prince George (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/29/2014.

Michael Clarke, Peterborough (OHL) -- unsigned (free agent after non-selection in 2014 NHL Entry Draft)

NCAA (August 15, 2014)*

Nate Condon, Minnnesota (Big Ten) -- free agent as of 08/16/2014.

Luke Moffatt, Michigan (Big Ten) -- free agent as of 08/16/2014.

Gus Young, Yale (ECAC) -- free agent as of 08/16/2014.

*Avs lose rights if players not signed by specified deadline date.

Other Signings/ Transactions

Cody Corbett, Edmonton (WHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/04/2014.

Dennis Everberg, Rögle (SWE) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/16/2014.

Samuel Henley, Val-d'Or (QMJHL) -- signed a three-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 04/28/2014

Roman Will, BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech2) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/15/2014.

Borna Rendulic, HPK (Liiga) -- signed a two-year entry level contract with Colorado (NHL) on 05/19/2014.

Bruno Gervais, Philadelphia (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Ben Street, Calgary (NHL) -- signed a one-year (two-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Maxim Noreau, Ambri-Piotta (NLA) -- signed a two-year (one-way) contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/07/2014.

Expiring NHL Contracts (In the System (two-way contracts)/ Players Coming off ELC)

Tyson Barrie (RFA)

Paul Carey (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014. 

Guillaume Desbiens (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Dornbirner EC (Austria) on 08/01/2014.

Stefan Elliott (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Joey Hishon (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

Matt Hunwick (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with New York (Rangers - NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Bryan Lerg (UFA) -- signed a one-year contact with San Jose (NHL) on 07/10/2014.

Brad Malone (UFA) -- signed a two-year contract with Carolina (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

Kieran Millan (UFA) -- announced retirement from professional hockey on 07/25/2014.

Mark Olver (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Sochi (KHL) on 05/26/2014.

Kent Patterson (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Orlando (ECHL) on 08/04/2014.

Karl Stollery (RFA) -- signed a one-year (qualifying offer), two-way, contract with Colorado (NHL) on 07/15/2014.

David Van der Gulik (UFA) -- signed a one-year contract with Los Angeles (NHL) on 07/01/2014.

J.T. Wyman (UFA)