It’s been an injury-riddled season for the Colorado Avalanche, as Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Matt Calvert, Nazem Kadri, Cale Makar, Erik Johnson, Gabriel Landeskog, J.T. Compher, Andre Burakovsky, and Philp Grubauer have all missed games due to injury this year. The Avalanche will have to deal with Mikko Rantanen’s latest injury, which may cause him to miss multiple weeks of important hockey leading up to the playoffs. Despite all of these injuries, Colorado is 33-18-7, including 6-3-1 in their last 10. They have 73 points in 58 games, good for 3rd in the Central Division and three points behind St. Louis for 1st place.
If the Avalanche weren’t already players in the forward market, they certainly are now. They’ve sent scouts to multiple Montreal Canadiens games in the last several days, and they are rumored to have interest in Tomas Tatar. Tatar had his best individual AB score since the 2015-16 season last year when he registered a +3.25 with the Canadiens in his first full season in Montreal. His career AB score is an impressive +2.33, however, his penalty drawn/taken ratio is 18:6, which is low for his standards. His giveaway/takeaway ratio of 26:28 is one of the more solid on the team, and he is only -3 +/- wise. Tatar is having an impressive season point-wise as well; he has 54 points through 62 games, tying his career-high in assists with 33. Tatar has one season left on his deal and makes $4.8 million per year.
The Avalanche are also rumored to be interested in Rangers forward Chris Kreider. Our data suggests that Chris Kreider is on the decline in terms of being a positive AB contributor, as his scores over the last three seasons were -3.92, -3.83, 0.20. In fact, his career-high AB score was 4.26 in the 2014-2015 season. He hasn’t had a season anywhere near that number since then and has only had two seasons above an AB score of +1 in the seven years of data we have for him. Kreider currently has an impressive 11:16 penalty drawn/taken ratio, but an extremely underwhelming 53:21 giveaway/takeaway ratio. Kreider has one of the higher +/- numbers on the team, with +8. Points wise, Kreider is Top 5 on the Rangers in scoring, with 42 points in 55 games.
GM Joe Sakic has shown he will be aggressive in improving his team in the past, and there is no doubt in our minds he is working on acquiring one of the top players available this deadline season. It will surely be interesting to see what moves he ends up making, and seeing how competitive the Avalanche will be in the next coming months on the ice, as they look to build off of beating the #1 seed Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs last season. More to come.