In news that won’t shock anyone, Gabriel Landeskog is staying with the Colorado Avalanche.
The 18-year-old forward could have been returned to junior after his ninth game in the NHL this season, but after scoring six points over that stretch, the Avs figured he should probably stick around, even though they’ll have to burn a year of his entry-level contract. And as Adrian Dater of the Denver Post points out, Landeskog’s cap hit helps keep the club over the CBA-mandated floor.
Landeskog has some size to him, so competing physically hasn’t been an issue. His plus-2 rating also suggests he hasn’t been a defensive liability. No, I don’t know if the coaching staff has been protecting him when it comes to match-ups, and I don’t really care. I’ll just take Avs defenseman Shane O’Brien’s word that Landeskog is a pretty good player.
“He’s unbelievable,” O’Brien told reporters. “I told one of my buddies he’s going to be the best forward in five years and it might not even take that long.”
Paul Stastny seems to think rather highly of Landeskog, too.
“It’s not just one thing that sticks out that makes him better than everybody else,” said Stastny. “It’s everything. He seems a complete player, whether it’s in the d-zone or the offensive zone, moving the puck, shooting the puck, blocking the puck, being physical… He does it all.”