The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year contract, and defenseman Nate Guenin and forwards Guillaume Desbiens and J.T. Wyman each to a one-year contract. In addition, the Avs have re-signed forward David Van Der Gulik to a one-year deal and signed forward Colin Smith to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Desbiens, 28, spent this past season with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, where he tallied eight points (4g/4a) and a team-high 118 penalty minutes in 52 games. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound right wing has appeared in 23 career NHL games (0g/0a), 13 with Vancouver from 2009-11 and 10 with Calgary in 2011-12. The Alma, Quebec native was Atlanta’s third choice (fourth round, 116th overall) in the 2003 Entry Draft.
Guenin, 30, spent this past season with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL), tallying 24 points (4g/20a) in 66 games. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound defenseman has appeared in 32 career NHL games (2g/2a), 12 with Philadelphia from 2006-09, two with Pittsburgh in 2009-10, three with Columbus in 2010-11 and 15 with Anaheim in 2011-12. The Aliquippa, Pa., native was selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2002 Entry Draft.
Holden, 26, is a 6-foot-4, 207-pound defenseman from St. Albert, Alberta. He appeared in two games with the Blue Jackets this past season (0g/0a) and 73 contests with their AHL affiliate in Springfield, where he led all team defensemen with nine goals and 39 points. Holden was originally signed by Columbus as a free agent on March 28, 2008 and made his NHL debut with the Jackets in 2010-11. He has appeared in seven NHL games (0g/0a).
Wyman, 27, spent this past season with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, but also played one game for the Lightning. The Edina, Minn., native tallied 38 points (13g/25a) in 76 games with Syracuse and added seven points (3g/4a) in 18 playoff contests for the Crunch. Selected by Montreal in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2004 Entry Draft, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound right wing appeared in 40 games with the Lightning in 2011-12 (2g/9a) and has dressed in 44 career NHL contests.
Van Der Gulik, 30, has spent the last three seasons with the Avalanche organization. He collected two assists and was +2 in nine games with Colorado this past year. Van Der Gulik also had 35 points (18g/17a) in 60 games for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. The Abbotsford, British Columbia native has appeared in 40 games with the Avs over the last three seasons, collecting 11 points (2g/9a) with a combined +9 plus/minus rating. In 46 career NHL games with Colorado and Calgary, the left winger has 13 points (2g/11a).
Smith, 20, led the Kamloops Blazers and finished tied for fourth in the Western Hockey League with 106 points (41g/65a) in 72 games this season. Smith, who was the only Kamloops player to appear in every regular season game, also led the club in goals and shared the team-lead in both assists and power-play goals (14). The Edmonton, Alberta native added 14 points (2g/12a) in 12 playoff contests. Smith was Colorado’s fifth choice (seventh round, 192nd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.