Move over, Detroit. Denver is about to become Hockeytown USA.
The Avalanche is listed as the top team over the next three seasons in ESPN’s NHL future power rankings, which ranks each franchise’s roster, prospects, contracts and management.
Colorado received an overall score of 87.8 — edging out Tampa Bay (87.7) — and earned high marks in all four criteria, especially prospects (second) and contracts (second).
From ESPN’s Emily Kaplan: “Everyone in the NHL is talking about the Avalanche these days. They are loaded enough to win now, and their best players are young and cheap; case in point is Nathan MacKinnon, a top-three player in the league, playing on a ridiculous bargain at $6.3 million through 2023. Eventually, these guys will need new contracts, and that will test GM Joe Sakic’s discipline.”
In terms of cornerstone prospects, ESPN places high regard on young defensemen Cale Makar and Bowen Byram: “Could this be the top pairing of the future for Colorado? If it is, that’s going to be a great benefit to the team’s forwards — and of great detriment to the rest of the Central Division.”
Rounding out the top five, include No. 3 Vegas, No. 4 Boston and No. 5 New York Rangers.
— Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post
What’s on Tap?
- Avalanche preseason: Dallas Stars, 7 p.m. Thursday, ALT | Buy tickets
- Air Force football: At Boise State, 7 p.m. Friday, ESPN2 | Buy tickets
- Rockies: At Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10 p.m. Friday, ATTRM | Buy tickets
TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today
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A journey from California to the Cornhuskers to Fort Collins starts another chapter on Saturday when O’Brien is expected to make his first collegiate start for the Rams (1-2) against Toledo. Read more…
+ Rockies Mailbag: Is Nolan Arenado frustrated with the state of the team?
+ Avs’ Nathan MacKinnon expected to “take another big step,” Sidney Crosby says
+ Broncos Briefs: Rebuilt Green Bay defense showing big improvement
+ College football games planned for eventual return at Mile High
+ An expert shares 5 tips every deer hunter should know
+ Rick Pitino settles with Louisville, ready for “new chapter”
+ Pac-12 Hotline newsletter: Colorado cashes in on Nebraska Cornhuskers visit
+ Sam Haggerty, a Mullen High School product, capitalizing on versatility in big-league chance with Mets.
+ Pirates’ Felipe Vázquez attempted to have sex with minor, police say
+ Fantasy football start/sit Week 3: How Broncos’ Josey Jewell could affect Packers’ run game.
Ask The Experts
+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.
+ Nuggets Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Singer here.
+ Avs Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Chambers here.
+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.
By The Numbers
A rundown of the top prep football games coming up in Week 4 across the state. Read more…
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