With Erik Johnson out for the next three to eight weeks, the Colorado Avalanche elected to recall Stefan Elliott form the Lake Erie Monsters in advance of Friday night’s matchup with the Nashville Predators. The offensive-minded defenseman was on the ice with the team at practice on Thursday. However, coach Patrick Roy said that Elliott will be healthy scratched for Friday’s contest.

A call-up was expected as there were only six healthy defensemen on the roster after Johnson’s injury.

“Playing with 12 forwards, it’s OK, but six D is a little risky,” said head coach Patrick Roy. “Something could happen in a morning skate or whatever.”

Elliott has been having a terrific season in Lake Erie and was rewarded with a selection to Monday’s AHL All-Star game. With a team-leading 12 goals to go with 14 assists in 40 games with the Monsters this season, there is hope that the 23-year-old can replace some of the backend offensive production that the Avalanche lose with Johnson – who leads all NHL defensemen with 12 goals this season – out of the lineup. He should also help spark the Avs’ abysmal power play (13.6 percent on the season) as seven of his 12 goals with Lake Erie came with the man advantage.

“[Elliott] will play,” said coach Roy. “He’s having a really good year down there, down in Cleveland, and he certainly deserves to play.”

In his first 58 career games with the Avalanche, Elliott registered six goals and 18 points.

The Avalanche drafted the 6-foot-1, 190-pound blue liner in the second round of he 2009 draft. Due to his waiver status, this may be Elliott’s last opportunity to prove himself with the organization. He plays a similar game to Tyson Barrie, with loads of offensive talent but some decencies in the defensive zone.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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