The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defense prospects Joel Chouinard (SHWEE-nahrd) and Jonas Holos (YOH-nuhs hoh-LAWS) each to an entry-level contract.
“We’re excited to have two more young defensemen under contract,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. “Joel had a productive year in junior and Jonas has competed at the highest levels of international hockey. We look forward to seeing them at training camp.”
Chouinard, 20, led all Quebec Major Junior Hockey League defensemen with 23 goals and finished second in scoring with 68 points in 65 games for the Victoriaville Tigres this past season. He was named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team and was a finalist for the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL’s best defenseman. The Longueuil, Quebec native posted a team-best +23 plus/minus rating and added 13 power-play goals. He went on to record 13 points (3g/10a) in 16 playoff games, leading all Tigres defensemen in that category.
Off the ice, Chouinard won the QMJHL’s Paul-Dumont Trophy as the “Personality of the Year” and was a finalist for the Marcel-Robert Trophy as the QMJHL Scholastic Player of the Year. Colorado’s fifth selection (sixth round, 167th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Chouinard has spent the past four years with Victoriaville.
Holos, 22, has spent the last two seasons with Farjestads BK of the Swedish Elite League after being selected by Colorado just three picks after Chouinard in the sixth round (170th overall) of that same 2008 Entry Draft. A native of Sarpsborg, Norway, Holos tallied 14 points (1g/13a) in 51 games this season, finishing second among team defensemen in scoring.
Holos, the Avalanche’s first-ever draft choice from Norway, represented his country at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. He averaged 28:56 of ice time in four Olympic contests, leading the entire tournament in that category. Holos finished with one assist and four shots on goal in what was his first appearance at the Olympic Games.
In addition, Holos recently competed for Norway at the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany. He tallied a goal and one assist while averaging a tournament-high 27:45 of ice time during the six games. This year’s event marked the fifth consecutive season that Holos has represented his country at the World Championship.