Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stoa's Time To Shine

In the 2005 draft, the Avs had four 2nd round picks (of course, no 1st round picks).

They used their first one, 34th overall, on Ryan Stoa. That's one pick after Dallas took James Neal, and one pick before San Jose took Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It was also one 2nd round pick used before taking Paul Stastny with their second 2nd round pick, 44th overall.

There was alot of hype around Stoa before the season began, and I'll admit even I bought into it. Instead of filling a top 6 role with the Avalanche, he was sent down to Lake Erie where he's played mediocre on a piss poor team, scoring 7 goals and registering a -10 rating in 25 games.

But, let's not buy into those stats too much. None of the Avalanche's better wingers (Stewart, Jones, McLeod) were all that great in the AHL, but stuck once given a chance to play with quality players in the NHL.

I suspect Stoa is going to be around a while to prove his worth.

Jones is done for the year, Hejduk will probably be out a month after his knee gets cleaned up, and I'm suspecting Svatos might miss a few games after leaving last game in the 2nd period (though, he's becoming less and less relevant).

Hopefully Stoa can be yet another call-up (see: Ryan Wilson) who's able to keep the Avalanche afloat through this mass of injuries. In a year of surprises, one thing hasn't been a surprise: Colorado's inability to stay healthy.

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