Hunwick, 27, appeared in 33 games for the Avalanche last season, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He dressed in each of the final 21 contests in 2011-12.
"Matt provides depth to our defense," Avs GM Greg Sherman said in a statement. "He played an important role for our team late last season and we are excited to have him under contract."
The native of Warren, Mich., has appeared in 248 career NHL games, scoring 16 goals and adding 45 assists. He was selected by Boston in the seventh round (No. 224) of the 2004 NHL Draft and was acquired by Colorado on Nov. 29, 2010.