After re-signing Mark Barberio and Mark Alt recently, the Colorado Avalanche aren’t done bringing back their suddenly deep defensive unit. Adrian Dater of BSN Denver reports that they also intend on re-signing Patrik Nemeth, and that talks have already begun between the two sides. Dater expects a two or three-year deal for the restricted free agent.
Nemeth, 26, found a home in Colorado this season after bouncing up and down between the minor leagues and NHL for years in Dallas. Selected in the second round in 2010, Nemeth played just 108 games for the Stars over four seasons, while struggling to stay in the lineup for various reasons.
In 2017-18, he skated in 68 games and recorded 15 points while averaging the third most minutes of any Avalanche defenseman. His +27 rating led the club and placed him 11th in the entire league, only behind Josh Manson (+34), Victor Hedman (+32) and Anton Stralman (+29) among defenseman. While his possession stats still weren’t excellent, he was used in an extremely lopsided manner and given the toughest assignments and zone starts on the Avalanche.
Amazingly, that play came for under $1MM for the Avalanche, who claimed Nemeth off waivers just before the season began. Though he’ll likely never be an elite point-producing defenseman, getting him re-signed on a relatively short-term deal for a reasonable price should go a long way to filling out the Colorado defense corps for next season.