The Colorado Avalanche have signed another exciting prospect, inking Martin Kaut to his three-year entry-level contract. Kaut, selected 16th overall in the most recent draft, is expected to remain in the Czech Republic for the upcoming season, meaning his contract will slide forward for at least one year. GM Joe Sakic had this to say about Kaut at the draft:
Martin plays a complete, two-way game. He competes, he’s strong on the puck. He’s got a great shot, and he’s a pure goal scorer. We just like the upside and what he can bring to our club.
Kaut was a dominant player for the Czech World Junior team a few months ago, part of an excellent forward group that also included Filip Zadina and Martin Necas. He also recorded 16 points in 38 games at the highest level in his home country, an impressive feat for a player who won’t turn 19 until October. Unfortunately he was limited during the recent NHL Scouting Combine due to a heart issue that was found during his medical exam, keeping him from doing any of the physical testing. Still, since the issue wasn’t a major problem the Avalanche quickly snapped him up when he was available at 16.
The talented winger should fit in nicely with a young prospect group coming through the Colorado system. Cale Makar, Conor Timmins, Josh Dickinson and others are already closing in on making an impact at the NHL level, while Nathan MacKinnon leads a group of early-20 players already among the best in the league. That doesn’t even touch on the fact that they should get another high pick when Ottawa surrenders their 2019 first-round selection thanks to the Matt Duchene trade from last year. Colorado looks like they’re ready for sustained success, and Kaut is only another piece to that puzzle.