The Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, and San Jose Sharks gathered their best prospects for the inaugural Rookie Showcase event in Westminster Colorado. The assembly of prospects was excellent and an opportunity for the three teams front offices, as well as scouts from other clubs, to see the best of these organizations. While a handful of prospects had some NHL experience, the event also allowed the players a higher level of competition they would have seen with their junior clubs.
“Any time you get a chance to have competition in your peer setting I think is good from an evaluation standpoint and also for the players,” said Avalanche Assistant General Manager Craig Billington. “To get an early start at their training camp, it's really positive. The facility here it is terrific, and I think it has been a very positive environment for everyone.”
Each team played a pair of games, with the host Colorado winning both matches, the Ducks splitting theirs and the San Jose Sharks falling 0-2.
The Avalanche were rude hosts going 2-0 against the Sharks and Ducks. Spencer Martin played the first half of the San Jose game and went the distance against the Ducks, stopping 43 of 46 total shots. Splitting last year between the AHL and ECHL, Martin should spend the 2016-17 campaign firmly with the San Antonio Rampage.
The story of the Rookie Showcase was the defensemen of the Avalanche. Chris Bigras’ first year as a professional could only be described as a success. Bigras posted 19 points in 37 games with the Rampage and added a goal and two assists with the Avalanche. He has decent size, but his ability to bring the puck up the ice with smooth skating and a dependable first pass will translate. Bigras had a slap shot goal in both games and checks that box as well. Little to no time will be needed at the AHL for him.