December 8: The Avalanche announced this afternoon that Ranta has been reassigned to the AHL. No other corresponding move was announced. The forward played 11:50 in last night’s loss to the Bruins, getting a shot off but not recording a point.
December 7: With Nathan MacKinnon added to the list of injuries for the Colorado Avalanche, the team has made several transactions today to reshape the roster. Sampo Ranta, Ben Meyers, Cal Burke, and Andreas Englund have all been recalled. Alex Galchenyuk, who cleared waivers yesterday, has been loaned to the AHL.
Ranta has played in 16 total games for the Avalanche over the last three seasons but is still looking for his first NHL point. The 22-year-old forward was a third-round pick in 2018 and has received just a handful of minutes in most of his appearances, something that could change now that the team is so banged up. MacKinnon joins nearly a dozen other regulars that are out of the lineup at the moment.
Meyers, meanwhile, is still in his first full season of professional hockey after signing with the Avalanche last spring. The 24-year-old undrafted forward was a star at the University of Minnesota, and made his NHL debut down the stretch, scoring one goal in five games. He’s been up with the big club for three appearances this year, recording another goal. A responsible two-way player in college, he could be asked to play the middle of the ice, depending on how the lineup card shakes out.
Burke, 25, would be making his NHL debut should he enter the lineup, after signing with the club in 2021. He too was an undrafted college free agent, and has 11 points in 21 games for the Colorado Eagles this season. The team appears to be going with older, more polished two-way players to fill out the bottom of the roster instead of turning to prospects with higher upside like Oskar Olausson.
Englund was always going to be recalled, given the team’s lack of defensive options at the moment. With Josh Manson, Kurtis MacDermid, and Bowen Byram all out, the team had just five defensemen on the roster going into today.
Unfortunately, the team lost Jayson Megna on waivers to the Anaheim Ducks yesterday, forcing them into an additional recall. The depth chart is being tested, as they now have just six forwards assigned to the AHL that are under NHL contracts.