Colorado Avalanche Become Favorites if They Sign Artemi Panarin?

The Colorado Avalanche have improved each season under Head Coach Jared Bednar. They missed the playoffs in the first season under him and Colorado also had the worst record in the NHL that season.

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For the last two seasons, the Avalanche have reached the postseason as the second wild card team in the Western Conference. In 2017-2018, they lost to the Nashville Predators in six games in the first-round and last season, they lost to the San Jose Sharks in seven games in the second-round.

Colorado has some key players on the roster like Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Samuel Girard, Tyson Barrie, and Philipp Grubauer.

The Colorado Avalanche had two first round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. They had the fourth overall pick because it was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators that sent Matt Duchene there a couple of years ago.

Bowen Bryam

The Colorado Avalanche selected defenseman Bowen Bryam with that pick. Byram is supposed to be the best defenseman in this draft. The Chicago Blackhawks passed upon him at number three and took centerman Kirby Dach with that pick. Some Chicago fans were scratching their heads with that selection.

It is very possible that Bowen Byram will be starting right away with the Colorado Avalanche. He has the potential to be a very good defenseman in the NHL one day. Byram and Girard could be a special defensive pairing one day.

Bowen Byram is only 18 years old. He is an excellent skater and Byram is tremendous at puck possession at the back end. He played in 67 games last season with the Vancouver Giants in the WHL. Bowen scored 26 goals and recorded 45 assists. His plus/minus was 33.

In 22 postseason games, Bowen Byram scored eight goals and recorded 18 assists. His plus/minus was 10. He was one of the reasons why the Vancouver Giants made it to the WHL Finals and they were also one win away from reaching the Memorial Cup.

Alex Newhook

With the 16th overall pick, the Colorado Avalanche took centerman Alex Newhook from the BCHL and he played for the Vancouver Grizzlies. Newhook dominated in 53 games with them last season. He scored 53 goals and recorded 38 assists. In 15 postseason games, Alex Newhook scored 11 goals and recorded 13 assists.

He will be playing next season with the Boston College Eagles. Newhook is only 18 years old and he will be able to keep on polishing his game at the next level.

In seven games with the U18 team for Canada at the WJC, Alex Newhook scored five goals and recorded five assists. His plus/minus was 6.

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Artemi Panarin

With all of those pieces in place for the future, what would it mean for the Colorado Avalanche if they decided to sign Artemi Panarin in free agency?

Well, Panarin is first expected to meet with the Florida Panthers this week. They might be the favorites to land him because Joel Quenneville is now the head coach of the Florida Panthers and Artemi Panarin played for him with the Chicago Blackhawks.

He is 27 years old and Panarin scored 28 goals and recorded 59 assists, in 78 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. His plus/minus was 14. In 10 postseason games, Artemi Panarin scored five goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus was even.

He has played in 322 games so far and Panarin has scored 116 goals and recorded 204 assists. His plus/minus is 63.

In 27 career postseason games, Artemi Panarin has scored nine goals and recorded 17 assists. His plus/minus is -7.

He is known for his goal scoring. Panarin is also expected to meet with the Colorado Avalanche sometime this week.

If he were to sign with the Avs, I think they could be one of the favorites to win it all next season.

I think Nathan MacKinnon on the first line with Artemi Panarin and Mikko Rantanen could be very dangerous. It could be the best top line in the league.

I know the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup this past season but at the end of the day, the Colorado Avalanche might have the most upside in the Western Conference right now.

How would you feel about the Colorado Avalanche if the signed Artemi Panarin? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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