For many NHL players, joining a team firmly entrenched in last place in the NHL might not be something to get overly enthralled about. For forward Sven Andrighetto however, being shipped to the Colorado Avalanche represents an opportunity to actually show what he is capable of.
“I was really excited to come here, because it’s a great opportunity,” Andrighetto told Mile High Sports. “It’s a really young group of guys with lots of skill. I believe I fit right in.”
So far, so good for Andrighetto. Though his debut was delayed as he waited to get a work visa, he has been with the Avalanche for three games. During that time, he has caught the attention of many, including head coach Jared Bednar.
“When you watch him play, the first thing that comes to mind is his work ethic and his speed,” Bednar said. “[He is] a committed defensive guy, good vision, he tracks the puck as well as anyone on our team already.”
With the Montreal Canadiens, Andrighetto struggled to crack the lineup, and was even sent to the AHL for a spell. Now, with a consistent role, he is starting to shine.
“I’m playing more than five minutes a night here, compared to what I did in Montreal,” he told Mile High Sports. “It definitely helps playing with skilled players and these guys made it really easy on me to come into the group and made me feel welcome right away.”
Andrighetto is earning the ice time he gets in Colorado, which has been around 15 minutes each night. And he is doing so by taking care of things in his own end first, something Bednar is rewarding.
“[He] comes all the way back in the d-zone, with his speed, to help out,” Bednar said. “[He] breaks up a lot of plays on their breakouts in neutral zones, that’s leading, for him, into some offensive chances. He’s doing things right on the defensive side and, in turn, he gets to play more in the offensive zone.”
In his three games thus far, Andrighetto has two assists. If the 23-year-old’s strong play continues, that trade with the Habs might turn out to be a lot more significant than it did at the time.