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Graves to return vs. Sharks; Newhook to make debut on trip

May 3, 2021, 4:34 PM ET [3 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Defenseman Ryan Graves will return Monday when the Avalanche play in San Jose to open a five-game road trip.

Coach Jared Bednar no longer reveals the lineup, but he did say Graves would play after missing one game with an upper-body injury.

“Good to have him back, another veteran D-man in the lineup,” Bednar said.

Here are the GAME NOTES.

Graves was injured Friday in the Avalanche’s 3-0 win against the Sharks while killing a penalty early in the first period. He absorbed an inadvertent elbow to the head from Sharks forward Evander Kane, who was taking a shot on goal in front of the net.

Bednar said Jacob MacDonald (lower-body injury) is on the trip, skated Monday, and has been skating for a few days. He’s getting closer to returning.

Bowen Byram (upper-body injury), who skated the other day with a small group, and Samuel Girard (lower body) aren’t on the trip. The hope for Girard is that he will be able to start skating when the Avalanche return home

Matt Calvert (upper body) and Logan O’Connor (lower body) remain out long term. O’Connor had surgery last week and Bednar said he could be back at some point. He didn’t have an update on Brandon Saad (lower body).

“Same thing with Calvert,” he said. “He’s working through his injury. I don’t have a timeline on him.”

Bednar said he expects forward Alex Newhook, 20, who was recalled from the AHL Eagles and is on the taxi squad, to play on the trip.

A first-round pick (No. 16) in the 2019 NHL draft, Newhook had five goals and four assists in eight games with the Eagles after signing a three-year, entry-level contract March 31. He had 26 goals and 32 assists in 46 games in two years at Boston College.

“I think it’s a very good possibility that he’ll play on this trip,” Bednar said. “I want to let him settle in for a day. We’re going to do some video work with him; we did some already today on the penalty kill. He’s a guy that’s been killing penalties, both in college and now with the Eagles, and he’s done a nice job there.

“I’m going to show him some 5-on-5 stuff and make sure we brush him up on how we want to play and then we’ll consider him for some games later on in the trip.”

Newhook could play center or wing and see time on the power play and/or penalty killing units.

“I want to put him in a situation where he can succeed,” Bednar said. “He’s a got a knack offensively. He made an impact (with the Eagles) in a short amount of time, so we’d like to give him the same opportunity here playing with good players and put him up the lineup a little bit.”

The projected lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky – Tyson Jost – Valeri Nichushkin
Carl Soderberg – Nazem Kadri – Joonas Donskoi
Kiefer Sherwood -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – J.T. Compher

Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Patrik Nemeth -- Conor Timmins
Ryan Graves -- Kyle Burroughs

Philipp Grubauer
Devan Dubnyk

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