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Numbers Game: First-Year Pros

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Five Avalanche prospects who recently wrapped up their NCAA eligibility will be attending their first professional training camps in September (NCAA players are not permitted to take part in rookie camp or training camp while attending school). Each of those players got a taste of the pro game with the Lake Erie Monsters last season after their NCAA schedules had ended, but this will be the first full professional season for all of them.

Also included on this list is a pair of major junior players in Joel Chouinard and Cameron Gaunce. Both players are under contract with the Avalanche, but could return to their respective junior clubs for their overage year if the Avalanche felt that was the best route for their development.

In addition, a European-born prospect will also be attending his first camp with Colorado.

“Last Worn By” denotes the last Avalanche/Nordiques player to wear the number during an NHL contest.

#2 – Joel Chouinard
The defenseman, who was assigned No. 72 at last year’s training camp, will come into camp during September wearing No. 2. Chouinard has spent the past four seasons wearing No. 27 while skating with the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Last Worn By: Wes O’Neill (2010)

#3 – Cameron Gaunce
The steady blueliner will more than likely begin his professional career this season after spending the past three years with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. Gaunce wore No. 73 at training camp last season and suited up as No. 28 during his three seasons with the Majors.
Last Worn By: Lawrence Nycholat (2009)

#6 – Jonas Holos
A minutes-eater for his native Norway in international play, Holos will bring his defensive skills to Denver for the first time in September. At camp, the blueliner will wear the same No. 6 that he has worn at the Olympics and World Championships while representing Norway.
Last Worn By: Derek Peltier (2010)

#8 – Kevin Shattenkirk
The Avalanche’s first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2007 NHL Draft, Shattenkirk will enter training camp wearing No. 8. The defenseman also wore No. 8 during his three-game stint with the Lake Erie Monsters last season, but sported No. 3 while patrolling the Boston University blue line for the past three seasons.
Last Worn By: Wojtek Wolski (2005-10)

#14 – Mike Carman
Carman wore No. 16 for the past four seasons at the University of Minnesota, but will enter his first professional camp as No. 14. The forward also wore No. 14 during his 10-game look with the Lake Erie Monsters at the end of last season, where he posted two goals and a +5 rating.
Last Worn By: Ian Laperriere (2005-09)

#15 – Zach Cohen
Cohen was signed as an undrafted free agent on March 23 and finished the season with the Lake Erie Monsters as No. 59. The forward spent his freshman year with the Terriers as No. 14, but switched to No. 11 for the last three seasons of his NCAA career.
Last Worn By: Matt Hendricks (2009-10)

#36 – Colby Cohen
Much like Shattenkirk, Cohen left Boston University after his junior campaign and spent three games with the Lake Erie Monsters at the tail end of last season. Cohen wore No. 25 both in college and with Lake Erie, but has been assigned No. 36 for training camp.
Last Worn By: Steve Moore (2002-04)

#40 – Mark Olver
After leading Northern Michigan University in scoring for three straight years, Olver turned pro at the end of the Wildcats’ 2009-10 campaign and joined the Lake Erie Monsters. Olver, who was No. 21 during his three years on campus, wore No. 39 during his brief stint in Cleveland.
Last Worn By: Marek Svatos (2003-10)
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