The Colorado Avalanche have claimed defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk off waivers, the team announced Tuesday.
Bodnarchuk had been playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who waived him on Monday.
The 27-year-old defenseman has made his way into just 16 games this season, the first time he’s seen NHL time since he was 21. In that time he has just two points and has posted a score-adjusted CF%Rel of -4.6% (meaning that the team possessed the puck less with him on the ice than without him).
He’ll be heading to another team with defensive issues, particularly after Erik Johnson left Monday’s game with an injury. Johnson’s situation hasn’t yet been updated, so the severity there is unknown. Even with Johnson in the lineup, there are big questions about Colorado’s defensive depth as they rally and climb the standings toward a wild card spot.
Yet, the claim of Bodnarchuk seems strange for a team that has struggled with their possession play when David Rundblad was on waivers very recently. Rundblad has a better track record in terms of possession (even though both only have a small sample of games available). Additionally, Rundblad is younger and a RFA, so if it works, there’s a contract benefit there. Rundblad also has more of an offensive game, which could fit Colorado’s high-risk style that relies on activating defensemen into the play.
Nonetheless, Bodnarchuk is expected to join the team immediately.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 5, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.