The Colorado Avalanche have locked in budding defenseman Bowen Byram on a very team-friendly bridge deal, signing him to a two-year deal worth $3.85MM per season, according to The Athletic’s Peter Baugh.
Byram, a highly touted prospect from the start, has shown tremendous potential since being drafted fourth overall by the Avalanche in 2019. He’s bucked the trend for defensemen taking longer to develop, already breaking out as a true top-four threat by age 22 after recording 24 points in 42 games last year, averaging nearly 22 minutes per game. Byram’s exceptional skating ability, hockey sense, and offensive instincts make him a dynamic presence behind the team’s top unit of Cale Makar and Devon Toews.
The bridge deal does provide Colorado some more space to add to its forward group but also provides some insurance against a real possibility of Byram continuing to encounter significant injury issues. Concussions and lower-body ailments have limited him to just 91 games over the past three seasons, and while he’s excelled during that time, whether he can continue a long career in a top-flight role is not a certainty.
Byram will be an RFA again upon expiry in 2025 and will be due a $3.85MM qualifying offer.