Similar-style Canadian defensemen Cale Makar and Conor Timmins, along with other members of the Avalanche’s 2017 draft class, will meet the Denver media Monday afternoon at the Pepsi Center.
Makar, 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, was selected in the first round (fourth overall) Friday and Timmins, 6-1, 185, was taken with the first pick of the second round (32nd overall) Saturday.
The two 18-year-old, right-shooting playmakers represent the future of Colorado’s blueline. Makar intends to play at the University of Massachusetts next season and Timmins will likely return to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for a third season in the Ontario Hockey League. Maker, ranked No. 1 among draft-eligible North American defensemen, might be capable of playing in the NHL by 2018-19.
Makar and Timmins will presumably remain in Colorado this week and participate in Colorado’s three-day development camp, which begins Tuesday at Family Sports Center in Centennial. The team said 22 young players will participate in the camp.
Meanwhile, Sunday marked the beginning of the NHL free agency window of opportunity. Teams were allowed to contact free agents but not negotiate. The signing period begins Saturday, and the 2016-17 last-place Avs will presumably be active.
General manager Joe Sakic surprisingly did not make a trade before or during the draft. He told reporters in Chicago that he wasn’t happy with the offers made for 26-year-old forward Matt Duchene, and said he could envision Duchene remaining with the Avs next season.
Duchene is among Colorado’s 13 big-league players signed for next season, a list that does not include signed top prospects such as Andrei Mironov, Chris Bigras, A.J. Greer and Spencer Martin.
Avalanche development camp schedule
Tuesday — 8 a.m.-12:45 p.m. (four groups, various times) and 3-4:45 p.m.
Wednesday — 8 a.m.–12:45 p.m. (four groups, various times) and 3-4:45 p.m.
Thursday — 8 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
The camp is free and open to the public.