Colorado first-round draft picks Gabriel Landeskog
and Duncan Siemens
moved a step closer to making it to the NHL on Thursday by signing their three-year entry-level contracts. Landeskog was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 Entry Draft while Siemens was selected with the No. 11 pick.
"We are pleased to have both Gabriel and Duncan under contract," Avalanche General Manager/Executive V.P. Greg Sherman said in a statement released by the team. "We look forward to them participating in their first training camp this fall."
Landeskog, the club's highest draft pick since it moved to Colorado in 1995, is considered by many to be a serious contender to make Colorado's opening night roster. The 18-year-old Swedish left wing captained the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League this past season and led the club with 36 goals despite suffering an ankle injury that limited him to 53 games.
"He plays the game with so much passion, he plays the game hard, he's a great mentor for players that are younger and older," Kitchener coach Steve Spott
told NHL.com. "It's maturity beyond his years. That kid doesn't need one game in the American league next year -- he should step right into the NHL."
Siemens, a rugged, 6-2, 192-pound defenseman, doesn't turn 18 until Sept. 3. He had 43 points in his second season with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. He had 20 points in 57 games with the Blades as a 16-year-old in 2009-10.