With Colorado not really going out and replacing Nazem Kadri who left in free agency last summer, there has been an expectation that the Avalanche would add an impact center at the trade deadline. While there are several rentals that are expected to be available, Bennett Durando of The Denver Post posits that there could be a different direction they could go. If they’re comfortable with Evan Rodrigues and J.T. Compher as their middle-six middlemen, they could look to upgrade on the wing instead. Durando suggests Panthers winger Anthony Duclair as a plausible target; Florida will have cap issues once he and Patric Hornqvist are able to return so there could be an opportunity to buy low. At a $3MM AAV both this season and next, Duclair could be an intriguing option for Colorado, especially since his speed would fit in well with their style of play.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- The Blues could have defenseman Nick Leddy back in the lineup tonight against Tampa Bay, notes Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 31-year-old has missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury. Leddy has 11 assists in 39 games so far this season and with Torey Krug out for a while, he’ll likely be called upon to play a bigger role offensively for St. Louis which is something he has been able to do with success in the past.
- While he has another year of NCAA eligibility remaining, goalie Drew Commesso is likely to turn pro for next season, suggests Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times. The 20-year-old was the 46th pick in 2020 by the Blackhawks and has had a bit of an up-and-down third season with Boston University. His GAA (2.58) and SV% (.910) are actually a little worse than last season although a pair of rough starts out of his 14 appearances skew that somewhat. Commesso has also dealt with a hamstring injury which has limited his playing time thus far.