This past weekend was the first chance for players in the Colorado Avalanche organization to get a taste of playing in new head coach Jared Bednar’s system. Avs prospects took to the ice, facing off against teams from the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks organization.
The Avalanche swept the Sharks and Ducks in their Rookie Showcase, showing the potential that organization has, and perhaps what is to come systematically. Defenseman Mason Geertsen, for one, is excited about potentially playing in Bednar’s system.
“I actually really like it,” Geertsen told Mile High Sports. “It’s a hardworking system and that’s kind of the way I like it. There’s not too much [emphasis on] skill. If you work hard you’re going to be able to do it.”
Selected by the Avalanche in the fourth round (93rd overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Geertsen is a lunch-pail defenseman. He may not light up the scoreboard night in and night out, but he will light up opponents with the occasional body check.
After sitting out the team’s first game against the Sharks, he suited up the next night against the Ducks. In that contest, he showcased his toughness, engaging in an epic fight. That being said, he knows that in today’s game, you better be able to do more than just throw punches.
“I know in the American League, they put the 10 fight rule in there,” he said. “So it’s kind of becoming a more spontaneous thing that happens, instead of the typical heavyweights on each team that usually go at it every night. As long as people are accountable for how they play, then I think that’s alright.”
With rookie camp now in the rearview, Geertsen now has his sights set on training camp. There, he will be fighting to leave an impression on Avalanche brass.
“I know in rookie camp, I was just kind of trying to get into it and start feeling good,” he said. “In main camp, I want to try to elevate [my game] a bit for the older guys and kind of go from there.”