The Colorado Avalanche have avoided arbitration with Sheldon Dries, signing the forward to a one-year contract. Dries was scheduled for a hearing on August 4th, but obviously won’t need that now. Dries was the only arbitration case left on the books for the Avalanche. According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, the deal is a two-way contract worth $735K at the NHL level.
Dries, 25, was an undrafted free agent coming out of Western Michigan University in 2017 and latched on with the Texas Stars on an AHL contract. That season he impressed the entire hockey world by scoring ten goals in the Calder Cup playoffs, helping the Stars reach the finals (which they would ultimately lose). He earned himself a one-year entry-level deal with the Avalanche and a chance to suit up for 40 games in the NHL during the 2018-19 season. Though he had just six points during those games, he established himself as a legitimate depth option that was deserving of another deal.
Whether Dries will see any more time in the NHL this season is still unclear. The Avalanche have improved their forward group tremendously with additions like Nazem Kadri, Joonas Donskoi and Andre Burakovsky, not leaving a lot of room for players like Dries to compete. Still he could very easily see some games as an injury replacement, especially given he is waiver-exempt and can be moved up and down without an issue.