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Avs going with vets over youth on defense; assign Elliott to AHL (Updated)

Sep 25, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

Stefan Elliott Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche are getting older — and bigger — on defense.

Having already dropped blueline prospects Chris Bigras (18 years old) and Duncan Siemens (20) from training camp, the Avs dispatched 22-year-old Stefan Elliott to AHL Lake Erie on Wednesday.

Elliott, the 49th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in 57 games with Colorado over the last two seasons, scoring 13 points in 39 games in 2011-12, and four in 18 games in 2013. Along with Bigras (the 32nd overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft) and Siemens (11th overall, 2011), Elliott is part of the Avs’ eventual youth movement on defense.

His reassignment leaves Colorado with nine defensemen in camp and, judging by those still in attendance, it’s clear new head coach Patrick Roy is looking for players with more seasoning and experience to play right now.

Nate Guenin, a 30-year-old journeyman, is still in the mix after spending all last year with AHL Norfolk, as is 26-year-old Nick Holden, a longtime Columbus farmhand.

It’s possible Roy is looking for bigger, more physical defensemen after stressing the need to clear the front of the net during training camp. Guenin is 6-foot-3, 207 pounds while Holden is 6-foot-4, 207.

The club also acquired 6-foot-4, 207-pound veteran Cory Sarich in a trade with Calgary this past summer.

UPDATE

Roy has revealed his top-six defense for this season to the Denver Post, adding that he’ll carry eight blueliners to start the season. The top six are Erik Johnson, Andre Benoit, Ryan Wilson, Tyson Barrie, Jan Hejda and Cory Sarich, with Matt Hunwick, Guenin and Holden battling for the final two spots.

  1. jernster21 - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    It basically came down to Elliott or Barrie and Barrie has been the better of the two. Elliott started to show some life at the end of last year, but too little too late to make a big impression coming into this year where it was expected Barrie would be on the roster. Doesn’t change the fact that Barrie could play his way into a demotion back to LEM and a call up of Elliott but I don’t see that happening.

  2. pxland - Sep 25, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Jebus, that line-up could use some help. I hope the offense can score goals. Lots and lots of goals….

  3. joey4id - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Could this be one of the reasons AVs preferred McKinnon over Jones? Everything Roy does is with a purpose and according to a plan. Sometimes you’ll understand immediately and sometimes you have to wait months to understand. He’s going to do very well in Colorado.

  4. avfanforlife - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Will Varly be good enough???? Get the season started already!!!

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