ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling players who completed their rookie seasons with the organization in 2020-21. This installment takes a look at forward Logan O'Connor.
After having a few stints with the Colorado Avalanche in each of the previous two seasons, Logan O'Connor spent the entire 2020-21 campaign with the Avs, appearing in 22 games.
He made his season debut on Jan. 30 at the Minnesota Wild and immediately made an impact, scoring just 3:02 into the outing, a matchup that Colorado won 5-1. The 25-year-old finished the year with three goals, two assists and a plus-6 rating.
Video: COL@MIN: O'Connor wires home wrist shot.
He had his first two NHL tallies under his belt before the season began, but O'Connor notched his first NHL helper and was a career-high plus-3 on March 25 in the Avalanche's 5-1 victory versus the Vegas Golden Knights. He now has seven points (five goals, two assists) in 43 career games.
Throughout the 2020-21 campaign, O'Connor solidified himself as a reliable member of the team's penalty-kill unit. The Avalanche finished eighth in the league, successfully killing 83.1 percent of its short-handed situations.
Video: ANA@COL: O'Connor finds twine on a partial breakaway
O'Connor was on the ice for an average of 1:44 per contest while the team was down a skater, the fifth most among all Colorado forwards and the fifth most among all first-year forwards in the league for the campaign.
He missed the final 21 outings of the season and the first eight of the playoffs after getting hurt on March 31 against the Arizona Coyotes and needing surgery. The Calgary, Alberta, native rejoined the club ahead of schedule after making significant progress with his rehab and skated in two games of Colorado's second-round series against Vegas.
The right wing logged 13:18 of ice time and had a career-high seven hits and three shots in his first contest back.
"I mean this guy's a worker, he's had to earn everything he's gotten as a professional hockey player," head coach Jared Bednar said of O'Connor before his return from injury. "One thing he's never going to cheat you on is his commitment and his work and he's done an amazing job getting himself ready, as has our medical staff to get him ready to play."
After going undrafted, the forward signed his first NHL contract with the Avalanche prior to the 2018-19 season and the club re-signed him to a two-year deal on Sept. 18, 2020. Ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft in June, O'Connor was listed as one of the 11 players that Colorado protected from the Seattle Kraken.
After spending the past year with the Avalanche, O'Connor will be looking to be a consistently trusted member of the squad in the upcoming 2021-22 campaign.