The Colorado Avalanche have had eyes on them all offseason. The narrative began to increase as the expansion and entry-level draft drew nearer. As a team seemingly always in transition, the Avalanche were rumored to be shopping two elite names at the center position.
Those two names, of course, were former first-round picks, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene. Duchene and MacKinnon have solidified themselves as members of the upper-echelon at their position over the last few seasons. What is most impressive is how they have done so at such a young age.
MacKinnon was drafted first overall in the 2013 draft, while Duchene was drafted third overall in 2009. Since then, the duo has been among the best in the league at creating scoring opportunities for the Avalanche. So much so, that each was awarded hefty extensions of $6.3-million and $6-million, respectively.
This offseason, the Avalanche continued to solidify their center depth by signing ex-Nashville Predator Colin Wilson. Factor in the return of Carl Soderberg for another season, and the inclusion of youngster Tyson Jost, something has got to give.
It will not be surprising to see the rumors resurface as the 2017-18 season’s trade deadline grows nearer. The price will be steep for a player of Duchene or MacKinnon’s caliber, but that is the price you pay for a building block center.