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Avs Acquire Eller, Jack Johnson, but is that it?

March 3, 2023, 4:45 AM ET [6 Comments]
Jordan Boutilier
Colorado Avalanche Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Avalanche have brought back team favorite Jack Johnson from the Chicago Blackhawks, and Lars Eller from the Washington Capitals.... But is that it?

We will always remember fondly as Avalanche fans the childlike smile across Jack Johnson's face when the team won the Stanley Cup last year. He played solid in his time here, and with his return, he improves the depth of the defense who has seen injuries to Erik Johnson, Cale Makar, Bo Byram, and Josh Mansonp; this move brings familiarity to the team.

Johnson knows the system. He knows the players. He's popular in the room with his team mates. This was a no brainer fit for a depth defenseman as someone who can step right in. So far, he has played 2 games with the Avs and is a +1, with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot. Solid, unspectacular, and steady enough to play some regular time with the team. This move was a good one, and the fit is decent.

Lars Eller, coming from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2nd round pick, is an interesting addition. The cost was relatively inexpensive, as the pick is several years away, but Eller seems to have had his best days already. That said, he brings a steady presence in the faceoff dot, with a career 50.3% faceoff win rate, and a 54.6% this year. He landed about 15 minutes before hitting the ice for the Avalanche in yesterday's wild 7-5 loss to the Devils, and clearly looked like a player who had never met his team or gotten into the system in practice. Let's hope things clear up for him, and with more rest and practice, he brings a stronger presence to the bottom 6 as a PK and faceoff man.

Is this it?

As any Colorado fan knows, it is nearly impossible to find leaks within the organization for news of who they're targeting, if anyone, during any time of the year. There have been links to James VanReimsdyk, John Klingberg, some speculation on Kevin Hayes... But nobody really seems to know for sure. The NHL trade deadline is tomorrow, and we won't have to wait long, but personally, I'd like to see the Avalanche add another few pieces.

A 2nd line center? JT Compher is playing well, but does he keep this going into the playoffs? We've seen up and down performances from him before... Is this the new norm? Do we need a 2nd line center?

Another depth defenseman? Hard to say, but John Klingberg, a puck moving, defensively questionable defenseman.. Should that be the target?

Let me know in the comments who you'd like to see the Avalanche target tomorrow for the playoff push!
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