The Colorado Avalanche continue to add depth ahead of the 2021 NHL trade deadline and the playoffs. After acquiring Jonas Johansson a few weeks ago, Joe Sakic decided to bring in yet another veteran goalie in Devan Dubnyk as insurance. In return for Devan Dubnyk’s services, the San Jose Sharks will get Greg Pateryn and a 2021 fifth-round pick.
The completion of this trade clearly symbolizes the polar opposite directions each franchise is going. Colorado continues to add depth as they gear up for a potentially deep playoff run. San Jose is currently sitting sixth in the west division and is nowhere near contention for the playoffs. Trading away an effective player such as Devan Dubnyk will only increase their chances of improving their draft pick position.
Who Will Share the Crease With Devan Dubnyk?
The Avalanche now have five goalies that have shown that they can compete at the NHL level. This incredible depth is unheard of. Unfortunately, not all of these goalies have had the success this season the Avalanche would have liked. For starters, Pavel Francouz was slated to enter the season as the backup goalie, but after an injury before the start of the 2021 season, he has been unable to play so far this year. Since he suffered an injury, Hunter Miska took over the role of the backup goalie. He had a poor start to the season and was sent to the AHL. In his five appearances this season, he has a 4.15 goals-against average and a .838 save percentage.
To fill the void left by the poor play of Hunter Miska, the Avalanche acquired Jonas Johansson. A failed tenure with the Buffalo Sabres allowed Joe Sakic to trade just a sixth-round pick for him. So far, Johansson has been much better for the Avalanche than he was for the Sabres. In just four games he has a 2.13 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
The star of Avalanche goaltending is Phillipp Grubauer. The 29-year-old goalie from Germany is in the midst of his third season with Colorado. This season, he has been in contention for the Vezina trophy. In 33 games, Grubauer has a goals-against-average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .919. These amazing numbers have helped his team be one of the most successful teams in the entire league.
How Does the Acquisition of Devan Dubnyk Help the Colorado Avalanche?
Well, the answer here is pretty simple. Adding another goalie to the mix should only strengthen the Avalanche roster. With the acquisition of Devan Dubnyk, starting goalie Philipp Grubauer will not have to bear as many games as he has been. The aforementioned Johansson will split the duties of a backup goalie will Dubnyk.
This season, Dubnyk has put together some alright but not great numbers in San Jose. In 17 games this season, Devan Dubnyk has a 3.18 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage. Hopefully, behind a better team, Dubnyk’s stats will improve and he can help the Avalanche enter the playoffs and eventually make a push for the Stanley cup.
What Did the San Jose Sharks get in Return for Devan Dubnyk?
Despite losing the best player in the trade, the Sharks may have gained some valuable things from the trade. First of all, they acquire another pick in the 2021 NHL draft. Rebuilding teams need as much draft capital as possible and that is exactly what the Sharks got in the trade. In addition to the added draft picks the Sharks free up some cap space and a roster spot. The cap space is crucial as the Sharks have some pending free agents that they should be sure to sign to extensions this offseason.
Also with the departure of Devan Dubnyk, an opportunity opens up for a backup goalie. The plan seems to be that Alexei Melnichuk will get this opportunity. Melnichuk is a 21-year-old goalie from Russia that is currently playing for the Sharks AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. Melnichuk has played nine games for the San Jose Barracuda and put together some decent numbers. His 3.08 goals-against average and .882 save percentage should earn him a promotion to the NHL.
Lastly, the Sharks acquired a veteran defenseman by the name of Greg Pateryn. As an eight-year NHL veteran, Pateryn has played in 278 career games. In his 278 games, he has only scored four goals and 37 assists. With the Sharks, he will most likely be on the taxi squad or be playing in the AHL with the Barracuda.
Although the Sharks definitely gave up the best player in the trade, it is a mutually beneficial trade for both franchises as they both accomplish exactly what they set out to do. For the Sharks, they open up cap space, a roster spot, and add to their draft capital. The new cap space could be used for either signing some players with expiring contracts to extensions of trading for more players as the trade deadline approaches. The open roster spot allows a new player to try to prove themself at the NHL level. The Avalanche continue to add depth to their roster as they gear up for what they hope to be a successful playoff run.
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