AVALANCHE

Reports: Avs get a deal done to bring key forward back to Colorado

Jul 1, 2024, 10:56 AM

The Colorado Avalanche had one huge priority left in free agency, and it sounds like Avs GM Chris MacFarland got it done.

According to multiple reports, forward Jonathan Drouin is returning to Colorado on a one-year deal. Free agency opened with Drouin receiving interest from the likes of Boston, St. Louis and the New York Rangers, but ultimately he decided to come back to Denver.

The Avalanche locked up center Casey Mittelstadt last week, and now Drouin comes back for another year of skating with his good friend Nathan MacKinnon.

$2.5 million also feels like a bargain, considering some of the deals that were being handed out to other free agents in the first hour of action.

Colorado revived Drouin’s career during the 2023-24 season, as he had a career-high 56 points in the regular season, netting 19 goals and 37 assists. Drouin played in 79 of the team’s 82 games.

Unfortunately, a fluky injury kept him out of the Avalanche’s Round 1 series against the Winnipeg Jets and caused him to miss the first three games against the Dallas Stars in Round 2. Drouin played in Games 4, 5 and 6, tallying an assist in each contest. Colorado had its season end in Game 6 in 2OT against the Stars.

The former No. 3 overall pick in 2013 seemed to find a home in Colorado and was comfortable on a line with the NHL MVP MacKinnon as well as Mikko Rantanen.

Now, they’ll run it back next year, as the Avalanche look to capture their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.

 

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