Familiar faces made an appearance at the 2024 Colorado Avalanche Development Camp. Stanley Cup Champions Andrew Cogliano and Pavel Francouz took on leadership roles within the organization and over the past week helped the young prospects with building upon their skills. Cogliano is a Special Assistant to General Manager Chris MacFarland and Francouz is a Goaltending Scout. 

“I think when you win a championship with a team, you feel a lot of passion and you have a lot of heart for being there,” Cogliano said.

Both raised the cup while sporting the burgundy and blue in 2022, and they also both announced their retirements this season.

Francouz, who went 6-0-0 in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, announced his retirement in April after missing the entire 2023-24 season with injury.

Cogliano Takes on Permanent Role

After hanging up his skates in May, Cogliano, who scored 464 points (190g/274a) in 1,294 regular-season games along with 40 points (13g/27a) in 131 playoff games over 17 seasons, joined the Avalanche front office. He’ll assist in various front office roles, including pro and amateur scouting, player development, in addition to working with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“I think there’s always a life after hockey," Cogliano said. “You can’t play forever. The opportunity to come here and play a few years, win a cup and be a part of really good teams, and now moving to the front office, I have an opportunity to work on the other side of it and hopefully win again. To be a part of it is something special.”

Cogliano emphasized that the busy transition has been exciting with being around the Draft, free agency, and Development Camp. 

“I think it’s just a great learning experience,” Cogliano said. “You’re in management and it’s a great place to be and there are great people to learn from. I’m very fortunate.”

Among his different jobs, Cogliano said he’s particularly excited for the scouting aspect of his new gig.

“I’ve always been interested in scouting and what it takes to watch players and how to see it from up above and not on the ice,” Cogliano said. “I’m excited to go watch NHL games and pro games with our scouts, with Chris, with whoever it is to understand what’s valuable in watching and how you pick up on certain things.”

Francouz Stays in Touch With Organization

Despite retiring in April, Francouz said he’d already been scouting this past season, helping the team with its Draft list. He said he knew he wasn’t going to play in 2023-24 and had a discussion with Avalanche Director of Goaltending Evaluation/Special Projects, Craig Billington. 

“He told me what they’re trying to accomplish,” Francouz said. “Trying to get the depth in the goalie position and he offered me to help out with the scouting and that’s how it all started. This operation lasted the whole season. We were preparing the list for the Draft”

As 2024 development camp grew closer, Billington offered Francouz to come and be around the young goalies, which he said he was happy about. 

Francouz added that the transition from playing to scouting gives him a different perspective.

“But even when I was on the bench, I would look at other goalies and I feel like they’ve kind of trained my eye,” Francouz said. “That kind of makes things easier for you because, you know what the goalie does.”

The Avalanche selected three goaltenders in the 2024 NHL Draft, and Francouz said he watched fifth-round pick Louka Cloutier closely. 

“I’ve seen tons of video on him,” Francouz said. “I feel like I know him better than his parents."

Francouz called his time with the Avalanche the best of his life and said Colorado is a special place. 

“I’m really happy I can still be in touch with Colorado and the Avalanche,” Francouz said. “I’m enjoying this new role.”

For both Cogliano and Francouz, as one chapter of their careers closed, another one opened.