The Colorado Avalanche are down to one restricted free agent remaining – defenseman Patrik Nemeth – after announcing three contract extensions today with RFAs. Goaltender Spencer Martin, defenseman Ryan Graves, and defenseman Mason Geertsen, whose deal had already been leaked, have all signed one-year contracts for upcoming season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Martin, the most well-known of the trio, has been a mainstay in net in the minors for the Avalanche for the past few years. Martin has made 84 starts for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage over the past two seasons as well as three NHL appearances. Martin’s numbers at both levels are rather pedestrian, but the 23-year-old was Colorado’s top goaltender prospect until the team used a third-round pick on big Finnish keeper Justus Annunen this June. Between losing that title and the team’s additions of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz in net, Martin is facing a big season in 2018-19 with his relevance in the Avs’ system in doubt.
Graves, 23, was just recently acquired by Colorado at the trade deadline in a swap of defensive prospects with the New York Rangers. The big blue liner was a 2013 fourth-round pick who has produced well in the AHL to this point in his pro career, but has yet to get a shot at the NHL. Graves is far from a polished prospect but still has some upside to his game that brings both physicality and play-making ability.
Like Graves, Geertsen has also failed to make it to the highest level yet in his career. Similar to Graves in size and experience, at 23 Geertsen still lacks a pro-caliber offensive game. Last season was his first spent entirely in the AHL, as Geertsen has previously spent extensive time in the ECHL.