Evan Rodrigues wasn’t supposed to be as big a contributor as he’s been when he joined the Avalanche late in the offseason.

Just days before the start of training camp, Rodrigues, 29, signed a one-year deal worth $2 million — well below market value for a 43-point producer — to shore up Colorado’s depth. With the departure of second-line center Nazem Kadri weeks prior, Rodrigues was going to be given every opportunity to play among the top six. And he’s proven to be a perfect fit.

“I was hoping we’d sign him,” veteran defenseman Erik Johnson said. “I think he had some other options but decided to come here.”

Injuries have given Rodrigues a chance to not only have an opportunity to claim a top-six spot but remain there seemingly since the season started. The result? Ten goals and 23 points in just 32 games. And that includes a four-game point-less stretch to start the season.

Rodrigues has spent the last week on the top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Artturi Lehkonen. Colorado has since won all three games, outscoring the opposition 17-4 in the process.

“I really liked what he did in the top six last year in Pittsburgh, the first half of the year especially,” head coach Jared Bednar said.

That line has combined for seven goals and 17 points. Rodrigues has just three assists, but has helped both MacKinnon and Lehkonen compile a handful of points.

“He makes a ton of little plays that maybe aren’t flashy but are super important for possession,” MacKinnon said. “I haven’t played with a righty in my career I don’t think. So it’s fun.”

The addition of Rodrigues shouldn’t be understated. Along with Kadri’s departure, Colorado also lost 20-plus goal scorer Andre Burakovsky, as well as depth forwards Nico Sturm and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Captain Gabriel Landeskog also has yet to suit up in a game since the Stanley Cup Final.

Without Rodrigues, the Avs’ playoff hopes could be in serious jeopardy. And if the team manages to get healthy before the end of the year, he could prove to be a huge depth piece in a lineup that prided itself last season on having four exceptional lines.

“They (management) said I could come in and play in a top-six role, or at least compete for it,” Rodrigues said. “With injuries and everything, I’ve had the chance to do that and I think I’ve continued to gain more and more confidence as the years gone on. I’m really believing in myself right now.”

The Avalanche have another crucial offseason ahead. With questions surrounding where the salary cap will be next fall, the Avs have to figure out what to do with Rodrigues and fellow depth forward J.T. Compher. Top defender Devon Toews is also eligible for an extension, one year out from his unrestricted free-agent status. And restricted free agents Alex Newhook and Bowen Byram both also need new deals.

But where among this laundry list of tasks does Rodrigues stand? Compher could be on the move. His production this season, and his one big chance to cash in on a lucrative contract, have seemingly priced him out of Colorado.

Rodrigues re-signing with the Avs could be the perfect replacement in the coming years. Even if he was originally just supposed to be a one-year stopgap.

“There hasn’t been any (extension) talks but it’s a great group of guys and an unbelievable city. My family has loved it,” Rodrigues said. “It’s only been a few months but I’ve really enjoyed my time here.

“Staying here is definitely something I’d be open to.”

Rodrigues is on pace to pass his 43-point mark from a year ago. Unlike the younger Compher, Rodrigues be in his 30s next season, meaning teams may shy away from giving him a longer-term deal. He also doesn’t have the Stanley Cup ring Compher does to attract more suitors.

“Just thinking about contract decisions and what our team looks like next year and beyond, like there are so many cap issues that you have to deal with,” Bednar said of having Rodrigues around next season. “So I can’t speak long term, but for right now, he’s really important.”