There is always optimism amongst the youth, as they head to NHL training camp. This season, for the Colorado Avalanche, that especially holds true. For the first time in their history, the club will host a Rookie Showcase; pitting themselves against youngsters from the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks over the weekend.

For many (such as Mikko Rantanen, J.T. Compher, A.J. Greer, Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras), they are looking to get a head start on training camp, where they will enjoy larger roles until the Avs’ best and brightest return from the World Cup.

For others, they are looking to earn their place in the organization.  Five players (Jackson Houck, Filip Karlsson, Brogan O’Brien, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel and Chase Marchand) will attend on amateur tryout contacts. All five attended the team’s development camp in July. A sixth (Shawn St. Amant) will attend on an AHL contract, signed after he impressed in rookie camp.

The Avalanche have room for six more contracts in their organization. Impress this weekend, and you may be inked to either a two-way deal, or an AHL contract (which doesn’t count against their limit of 50); ensuring your place with either the San Antonio Rampage or Colorado Eagles. If some of the bigger names (see paragraph two) impress and are able to continue that level of play in training camp, a spot on the Avalanche roster may be in their immediate future.

As such, though the scores don’t count in the standings, there is plenty to play for this weekend. For the 25 men on the Avalanche Rookie Showcase roster, their future is in their hands. All they have to do is reach out and grab it.