Duchene leads an impressive young group that also boasts Chris Stewart
, who had a breakout season in 2009-10. Stewart, who recently signed a new two-year deal with the club, paced the Avs with 28 goals and finished second with 64 points. He also had 100 hits and 74 penalty minutes
. Duchene and Stewart will likely skate on the same line alongside T.J. Galiardi, a 22-year-old who had 15 goals and 24 assists.
After missing a large chunk of the 2008-09 season, Paul Stastny
returned in a big way and racked up 79 points (20 goals, 59 assists) in 81 games. Stastny
, who doesn't turn 25 until Dec. 27, hadn't made it through a full season since his rookie campaign of 2006-07, when he had 28 goals and 50 assists. It's possible he'll be lined up with Milan Hejduk
(44 points in 56 games last season) and Peter Mueller
, who had 9 goals and 11 assists in just 15 games after being acquired from Phoenix. Mueller missed the postseason due to a concussion.
Duchene wasn't the only Avs' rookie last season to put up impr
essive numbers. Ryan O'Reilly
, the club's second-round pick from 2009, had 26 points and a plus-4 rating in 81 games and is in line to be Colorado's No. 3 center. Who he will skate with remains to be seen, but possibilities include Cody McLeod
(138 penalty minutes last season) and Brandon Yip
, who had 19 points in 32 games as a rookie.
Other forwards competing for spots include Daniel Winnik
, who was acquired from Phoenix, as well as Philippe Dupuis
, David Jones
, David Koci
, Ben Walter
, Kevin Porter
, Greg Mauldin
and David Van der Gulik