Versatile centerman who will need to find a pro role to be NHL- and fantasy-relevant
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October 2023 – Pavel only made it into one preseason contest for the Avs, and has been assigned to the AHL for the start for the 2023-24 campaign. The NHL fourth line is likely to rotate throughout the season so a small role is still possible for the hard-working centerman, but missing most of camp and preseason has delayed that possibility so keep him on your waitlist for the time being. Unless his production picks up in the minors, he is likely to be a better real-life player than fantasy player. Hayden Soboleski
September 2023 – Pavel began pre-season training in Colorado very early, but a lower-body injury has struck, making him day-to-day leading into pre-season. The Avs have made depth signings this off-season but if there is a 4th-line role up for grabs, Pavel remained a dark horse candidate to claim it. Hayden Soboleski
March 2023 – Colorado has signed undrafted college free agent Ondrej Pavel to a two-year ELC. The deal start in the 2023-24 season; the centerman will join the AHL Eagles on a PTO for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. Hayden Soboleski
With the cupboard bare from years of trading picks and prospects in exchange for cup competitiveness, and many contracts expiring this off-season, college signees are going to make up a large proportion of Colorado’s minor-league affiliates next year. Pavel brings pro-ready size to the AHL Eagles, but the scoring may be a work in progress. His six goals and 15 points in 39 games certainly doesn’t jump off the page for a 6-02 senior, but his 94 SOG is not a bad shot volume, his 30 blocked shots led all team forwards and he doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game. With significant turnover possible on the AHL Eagles, PK special teams spots will be available and this may be the best path forward for Pavel to become a long-term pro. Don’t expect any fantasy relevance within this two-year deal, wait to see how he is deployed and if he can find a role in pro before adding to your reserves.