The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed goaltender Pavel Francouz (pa-VEHL FRAN-soos) to a one-year contract for the 2019-20 campaign.
Francouz, 28, completed his first season of professional hockey in North America in 2018-19, posting a 27-17-3 record in 49 games for the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles. He recorded a 2.68 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage, which was tied for fifth in the league, and three shutouts. The Plzen, Czech Republic, native also played in two contests for the Avalanche, registering a 1.97 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage, both in relief appearances. Francouz was tabbed to represent the Eagles at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic but did not participate due to injury.
"We are excited to have Pavel back with the Avalanche organization for another year," said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Joe Sakic. "He had a very strong first season in North America last year, being named an All-Star and leading the Eagles to the Calder Cup Playoffs. He brings extensive international experience and got a taste of the NHL last year and performed well."
Prior to signing a one-year contract with the Avalanche on May 2, 2018, Francouz spent three seasons with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL in Russia, where he had a 15-11-5 record with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in 2017-18. He compiled a 32-27-11 record, a 1.73 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in 83 career regular-season contests and was 8-9 in 18 career postseason games with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
Prior to the KHL, Francouz played three campaigns with HC Litvinov of the Czech Extraliga, where he registered a 2.23 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage in 140 outings and twice was the recipient of the league's top goaltender award (2012-13 and 2014-15).
Internationally, Francouz is currently competing for the Czech Republic at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, the sixth time he has represented his country at the annual event. Francouz played for the Czech Republic at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, finishing 2-2 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. The 6-foot, 179-pound netminder also suited up for his country at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.