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Team Reset

Avalanche turn to Kadri for secondary scoring

Trade should provide offensive balance; Burakovsky, Donskoi boost forward depth

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is looking at where each team stands. Today, the Colorado Avalanche:

The Colorado Avalanche made significant changes despite qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons, adding center Nazem Kadri and parting with defenseman Tyson Barrie and goalie Semyon Varlamov.

In their biggest offseason move, the Avalanche, who still need to sign restricted free agent forward Mikko Rantanen, acquired Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Barrie, forward Alexander Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft on July 1. Kadri is expected to fill a void and ease some of the burden on No. 1 center Nathan MacKinnon.

"I feel like I'm having a great summer so far and I'm feeling really the best I ever have working for redemption next season," Kadri said. "I feel strong, I feel great and I strongly believe that my best years are yet to come. I think Colorado's a nice step for me."

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

Colorado also added forwards Andre Burakovsky, Joonas Donskoi and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and defenseman Kevin Connauton since being eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in seven games in the Western Conference Second Round.

Varlamov signed a four-year contract with the New York Islanders as an unrestricted free agent July 1 and likely will be replaced by 29-year-old Pavel Francouz, who played with Colorado of the American Hockey League and two games with the Avalanche last season after playing the previous three in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Video: Kadri changes Avalanche's lineup, outlook next season

Here is what the Avalanche look like today:

 

Key arrivals

Nazem Kadri, F: The 28-year-old, who played his first 10 NHL seasons for Toronto, is expected to add offense and grit. Kadri scored 32 goals in back-to-back seasons (2016-18) but is looking to bounce back from last season, when he had 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists) in 73 regular-season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in two playoff games. … Andre Burakovsky, F: A restricted free agent, the 24-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 28 for forward Scott Kosmachuk, a second-round and a third-round pick in the 2020 draft. Burakovsky will add speed to the second or third line; he had 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 76 regular-season games last season and two points (one goal, one assist) in seven playoff games. … Joonas Donskoi, F: The 27-year-old signed a four-year contract July 1 after playing his first four NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks. He had 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 80 regular-season games and three points (one goal, two assists) in 12 playoff games last season. … Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, F: The 34-year-old center signed a two-year contract July 1 after playing two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. He had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 76 games and didn't score in six playoff games. … Kevin Connauton, D: Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes in a trade for forward Carl Soderberg on June 25, the 29-year-old had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 50 games. … Calle Rosen, D: The 25-year-old had 46 points (seven goals, 39 assists) in 54 games with Toronto of the AHL and one goal in four games for the Maple Leafs.

Video: Avalanche, Maple Leafs benefit from Barrie-Kadri swap

 

Key departures

Tyson Barrie, D: Had 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) in 78 games and eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 12 playoff games last season. Barrie, who turns 28 on July 26, played eight seasons forColorado and is the Avalanche leader for goals (75), assists (232) and points (307) by a defenseman. … Semyon Varlamov, G: The 31-year-old went 20-19-9 in 49 games with a 2.87 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts. Varlamov played eight seasons for the Avalanche and ranks second behind Patrick Roy for games (389), wins (183) and shutouts (21). … Carl Soderberg, F: The 33-year-old scored an NHL career-high 23 goals and had 49 points in 82 games. … Patrik Nemeth, D: Signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent on July 1. The 27-year-old had 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 74 games last season. … Sven Andrighetto, F: Did not receive a qualifying offer and is an unrestricted free agent after the 26-year-old had 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 64 games last season.

 

On the cusp

Bowen Byram, D: Selected with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old will get a long look in training camp. Byram had 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games with Vancouver of the Western Hockey League and 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 22 playoff games. … Conor Timmins, D: The 20-year-old, a second-round pick (No. 32) in the 2017 NHL Draft, is healthy after missing last season to recover from concussion symptoms. He had 41 points (eight goals, 33 assists) in 36 games for Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League in 2017-18. … Vladislav Kamenev, F: Missed 52 games last season with a shoulder injury, but Kamenev, who turns 23 on Aug. 12, had five points (two goals, three assists) in 23 games for the Avalanche.

Video: Byram on feeling of hearing name called by Avalanche

 

What they still need

Besides signing Rantanen, the Avalanche could use another experienced defenseman, especially if Erik Johnson (shoulder surgery) isn't ready for the start of the season. Ian Cole (hip surgeries) isn't expected to be available until December.

 

Fantasy focus

Prior to the Maple Leafs signing elite center John Tavares on July 1, 2018, Kadri had consecutive 32-goal seasons as their No. 2 center and first power-play cog. He has a similar role ahead with the Avalanche, who could take another step forward with more secondary scoring. Kadri has combined for 49 power-play points over the past three seasons, setting him up for exposure to elite forwards MacKinnon, Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog on the first unit. -- Pete Jensen

 

Projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Andre Burakovsky -- Nazem Kadri -- Joonas Donskoi

Matt Calvert -- Tyson Jost -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Colin Wilson

Samuel Girard -- Cale Makar

Calle Rosen -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Kevin Connauton

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

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