Last season didn’t go as planned for defenseman Jared Cowen.
After undergoing hip surgery for the third time, he was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was forced to sit out the entire 2016-17 season.
This off-season, Cowen was able to land a professional tryout with the Colorado Avalanche, who have some gaping holes on their blue line.
Even though the Avs currently have just three defensemen signed to one-way contracts (Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barberio), Cowen knows he has a lot to prove if he wants to stick around for the year.
“I had few offers to select from, and the opportunity here — I know it’s not what they want, but good for me — there’s an opportunity to make the squad after not playing last year. I’m happy about that,” Cowen said, per the Denver Post.
“I just know I have a lot of work to do here to make it. Hopefully it works out.”
The 26-year-old was drafted ninth overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Unfortunately for him, injuries have always seemed to prevent him from taking the next step in his once promising career.
After playing 82 games in his first full NHL season, Cowen hasn’t been able to stay healthy. From 2012-13 to 2015-16, he only suited up in 166 of a possible 328 games.
The 6-foo-5, 240-pound rearguard is hoping that his days of sitting out due to injury are over.
“I’ve done a lot of rehab, more than I’d like, but hoping that’s all behind me now.”