The Colorado Avalanche have added some more goaltending depth, acquiring Antoine Bibeau from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for prospect Nicolas Meloche. Bibeau, who recently cleared waivers with the Sharks, will report to the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.
A trade of Bibeau solves problems for both teams, as the Sharks already had two goaltenders ticketed for the AHL while the Avalanche had just three in the entire organization under NHL contracts. Colorado will still be going with Pavel Francouz as their backup to start the year, but Bibeau does give them another player to turn to if he struggles. The new goaltender has just two games of NHL experience under his belt but has been an AHL All-Star as recently as 2017-18.
Perhaps more interestingly though is the inclusion of Meloche, who is still just 22 and was a second-round pick in 2015. The young defenseman had a strong season for the Colorado Eagles last year putting up 21 points in 55 games, but just wasn’t going to get anywhere in the Avalanche system. Even if he took another step forward this year it would be hard to find room for him on a team that has Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, Conor Timmins and Bowen Byram all still 21-and-under and in line for huge minutes going forward.
In San Jose, Meloche will get a new chance and opportunity to show the coaching staff he has what it takes to get to the NHL level. On the final year of his entry-level deal, he’s a worthwhile lottery ticket for a team that will need cheap defenders to offset the $26.5MM that their top three are eating up every year.