by Mcallaster Miller @calmiller17 / ColoradoEagles.com
The unofficial official start of the 2019-20 season has begun as the rookies hit the ice for Colorado Avalanche Rookie Camp. This year’s camp starts off with only one skate in Denver and then the rookies will head to Anaheim for the Pacific Division’s rookie tournament. For most of these players, this is their first time experiencing the professional lifestyle and it’s their first chance at making an impression on the Avalanche coaching staff. After the skate today we caught up with a couple of Rookie Camp veterans and asked them about camp this year.
“This is my second Rookie Camp, so I know I’ve got to come in and be a leader,” said Eagles’ forward Martin Kaut. Last year was Kaut’s first season of professional hockey in North America, and with a full offseason under his belt this year he’s looking to make a push for the Avalanche’s Opening Night roster on October 3rd. “I will have [NHL] main camp after this and I’m going to make it. I know it’s going to be tough and hard, but this is the mindset I have.”
Another skater hoping to crack the Avs’ opening night roster is Eagles’ forward Shane Bowers. He joined the Eagles late last year after finishing his sophomore campaign at Boston University. He’s only had a couple games of professional hockey under his belt, but after a summer of training with NHL superstars Nathan MacKinnon, Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand, Shane feels he’s up to the task. “The goal here is to make it to the NHL. We’ve got a lot of hungry guys here in this locker room with lots of talent, so you’ve got to come in ready to standout.” Shane was a first-round selection of the Ottawa Senators and was acquired by the Avalanche during the blockbuster Matt Duchenne trade. Although only having been here for a short time, Shane has found comfort and chemistry with linemates Martin Kaut and Nick Henry. “Whether we stay together for the full tournament or not, it does make things easier when you’ve had some experience playing with some guys. They are both very skilled players, so if we do end up sticking together, I think we’ll be able to really dominate out there this weekend.”
One last-minute addition to the Rookie Camp roster that came as a nice surprise to Eagles fans is goaltender Hunter Miska. He was signed by the Eagles earlier this summer and got a last-minute invite to join the Avalanche’s Rookie Camp roster. “I jumped at the opportunity to get out here earlier and start to get settled in this new organization,” Miska said. Originally the product of the Arizona Coyotes, this is Miska’s first time in front of Avalanche coaching staff as a part of the organization. “I think it’s huge to build up relationships with the staff, so it’s nice I can do that here at Rookie Camp instead of at Main Camp. I want to be able to just go out and play my game during Main Camp and show the coaches here that I can be a real asset to the organization.”
The rookies begin tournament play on Saturday, September 7th at the Anaheim Ducks practice facility at 2:00 pm MT against the Vegas Golden Knights rookies. All the games will be streamed live at ColoradoAvalanche.com. You can view the full roster and schedule for Rookie Camp here. Eagles regular season tickets go on sale to the public at 10:00 am September 20th. Tickets can be purchased at ColoradoEagles.com or by calling 970-686-SHOT (7468).