The Colorado Avalanche have signed Igor Shvyrev to an entry-level contract. While signing a fifth-round draft pick is rarely big news, there was no guarantee that Shvyrev was ever planning on coming over to North America after spending the last few seasons in the Russian professional leagues.
Shvyrev is an extremely talented center who lit up the MHL (Russia’s junior league) with 70 points in 40 games during his draft year. His KHL experience is extremely limited, with very brief appearances in the games that he did get into. He’s a big, strong player who is a legitimate NHL prospect, though he’ll need some seasoning at the minor league level.
With this addition, the Avalanche have added another intriguing prospect to a system that is rapidly filling up. After trading Matt Duchene earlier this year, and selecting players like Cale Makar during the last draft, suddenly Colorado looks like they’ll be a contender in the near future.
The 19-year old Shvyrev doesn’t guarantee that, far from it. He may not even ever see a game in the NHL. But convincing him to sign with the organization and join their development system is a big first step, and one that needed to happen if he was to ever make a real contribution to the Avalanche.