Feb. 3: The league is largely shut down this weekend for the All-Star break but waiver activity continues. Today, the Avalanche placed goaltender Ivan Prosvetov on waivers, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link).
Colorado claimed the 24-year-old off waivers from Arizona in training camp with backup Pavel Francouz dealing with a groin injury. With Francouz since being ruled out for the season, Prosvetov has become the full-time backup for the Avs this season. However, his performance has been inconsistent as he has played to a 3.16 GAA and a .895 SV% in 11 appearances so far. The end result has been starter Alexandar Georgiev leading the league in appearances by a goaltender at the break, hardly an ideal situation for someone whose career high in games played heading into last season was 34.
Prosvetov’s placement suggests that a change on that front is coming. Barring a trade on the horizon, the change should be in the form of prospect Justus Annunen. The 23-year-old has spent most of the year with AHL Colorado, posting a 2.65 GAA and a .908 SV% in 23 games while also making one start for the Avs. Annunen only has five career appearances at the top level under his belt but he is in his final season of waiver exemption so he’ll now get his chance to prove he’s worthy of the full-time second-string role. Otherwise, GM Chris MacFarland will have no choice but to turn to the trade market.
With goalie depth hard to come by, it wouldn’t be shocking to see someone claim Prosvetov on Sunday. If that team is the Coyotes and they’re the only team to do so, Arizona would then be able to send him to AHL Tucson. If the Coyotes aren’t the only team to put in a claim, they’d then be forced to re-waive him or keep him on the NHL roster.