Avalanche’s Top 3 Trade Assets for the 2020-21 Season

There is no question after last year’s playoff run that the Colorado Avalanche will be looking for another deep run at the Cup this season. After having taken care of their free-agent agenda and completed a few trades, the team is set up to be even deeper than last season. With under $2 million in remaining cap space available, the team will have to be creative in any future player acquisitions and be prepared to give up future assets to strengthen their roster. Here are the most valuable pieces at their disposal to make their team better through the trade market.

2021 First-Round Pick

Any team with Stanley Cup aspirations has to understand that sometimes in order to improve you have to take the chance and mortgage the future. After a second-round playoff exit last season, the Avalanche surely have their eyes on a Cup Final appearance at the very least and should be in the market to add to their roster during the season.

Colorado Avalanche Remaining Draft Capital in 2021
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The Avalanche traded their 2021 second-round pick in the Devon Toews deal and their 2021 fourth-round pick to the Ottawa Senators last season to acquire Vladislav Namestnikov.

The Avalanche have had the luxury of selecting two stellar talents on defense in Cale Makar and Bowen Byram while also having a significant goalie prospect in Justus Annunen. This leaves the prospect cupboards pretty stocked in these positions, allowing Sakic more flexibility to potentially trade his 2021 first-round selection.

Related: Colorado Avalanche’s ‘Untouchable’ Prospects for 2020-21

The Avalanche are already without their second and fourth-rounder for the 2021 Draft. However, don’t expect them to hesitate to move their first-rounder if it means getting an impact piece to add to the team to make them even stronger Cup contenders.

Justin Barron

The Avalanche have been able to create a fairly deep prospect pool, and while they may not have many high-end forward prospects, that is not the same for their blue line. Aside from the emergence of Makar, the Avs are still sitting on two prospects in Byram and Conor Timmins. With three young defensemen in the system, the need may not be as glaring at this position as it is for other teams.

Justin Barron Halifax Mooseheads
Justin Barron of the Halifax Mooseheads (Photo: Halifax Mooseheads)

After selecting another right-handed shooting defenseman with their 2020 first-round pick, the Avalanche now have a plethora of young d-men to use as trade bait this season. Although Barron is a high-end prospect with a bright future, he will likely not be an impact player for the Avalanche for the next few years. The timeline of his development does not match up with the team’s current needs, making him an expendable asset that could bring back a solid haul.

Martin Kaut

Kaut is one of the team’s better forward prospects in a somewhat shallow group. Unfortunately, for both Kaut and the team, neither have been able to benefit from each other thus far. After being drafted back in the first round in 2018, the now 21-year-old has suited up for 97 AHL games and nine NHL games in his last two seasons.

Related: 4 Avalanche Prospects to Keep An Eye On at the World Juniors

He is yet to display his full upside but with the amount of depth on the Avalanche this season, he will likely be left on the outside looking in on the team’s 2020-21 roster. The Avalanche have some more promising forwards that come with a bigger pedigree like Alex Newhook and Shane Bowers that could challenge Kaut for playing time.

Martin Kaut Avalanche
Martin Kaut, Colorado Avalanche, 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas, TX, June 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Many teams could be intrigued to take a chance on the former 16th-overall selection and give up some win-now players for a potential future scoring asset. A fresh start with another team and the chance to get regular minutes at the NHL level will also be beneficial for Kaut’s development.

Win-Now Mode

The Avalanche are set up well to be able to part with some of their future pieces to help them find help and success in 2020-21. With their roster pretty much filled out at this point in time, expect the team to dangle these three assets on the trade block to other teams for players to help them contend in the postseason.

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