Rebuilding was the idea, postseason is the result for surprising Avalanche

Apr 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates the win over the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With 2018 pegged by most as a “rebuilding” year for the Colorado Avalanche, few expected the near doubling of points from 48 in 2017 to 95 and a postseason berth in 2018. Powering that resurgence is the young core that the Avalanche intend to build on and a potential Hart Trophy candidate.

Nathan MacKinnon leads the way for one of the youngest teams in the league, and certainly will be a candidate for the Hart Trophy with his 97 points (39 goals, 58 assists).

In an interview with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post says the Avalanche have an incredible surplus of young talent and the immediate success, even in the face of a rebuild, has been something that not even General Manager Joe Sakic could have seen coming.

“You’re seeing a lot of emerging stars. Alex Kerfoot, Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher. Sam Girard is going to be an absolutely stud on defense…It’s amazing that Joe Sakic says ‘hey in year one of our rebuild, we’re going to go young, and we’re going to stick with our kids,” Chambers said. “We aren’t going to make the playoffs, but we’re going to grow.’ Certainly this team has grown more than he probably thought was even possible.”

Colorado’s top star in that young nucleus MacKinnon. His 97 points have powered the Avalanche with the superstar power they’ve needed. Chambers is a voter for the Hart Trophy and while he didn’t reveal his pick for the award, he did mention that MacKinnon, will be up there for consideration.

“I did go through my ballot today. I will say that Nathan MacKinnon and Taylor Hall are probably going to be my top Hart two picks,” Chambers said. “Mostly based on the fact that the Avalanche went from last in the West, to a playoff spot. New Jersey did the same thing and Taylor Hall is like 40-points more than the next guy with the Devils, which is super-impressive.”

Click here to listen to the full interview with Mike Chambers, including what he had to say about the Avalanche chances of upsetting the Predators and more, or listen to the podcast below.

Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.

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