image courtesy of Cornell Athletics

Fantasy Summary

Confident puck-handling defenseman with 3rd-pairing upside


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December 2023 – Less than a year after signing his first pro deal, Malinski has now played 12 games for the banged-up Avs and his seizing the opportunity. He has picked up his first NHL goal to go along with four assist so far, while putting up roughly 1 SOG and 1 block per game which makes him a serviceable fill-in multi-cat player to match his fill-in real player status. His 14:11 aTOI likely isn’t high enough for these production rates to increase, but given how quickly he has acclimated to the organization it is not unreasonable to think he could have the 7th-8th defenceman role secured for now, and be in the battle for a top-six spot for 2024-25. Hayden Soboleski

November 2023 – Malinski has been called up to the Avs following multiple injuries on the back end and is set to see his first NHL action. The mobile blueliner finished the 2022-23 campaign strong with five points in seven contests, followed by five more in seven playoff showings. He won the AHL coaching staff’s trust quickly and hasn’t let up, starting 2023-24 with six points and 26 SOG in 13 games played so far. A chunk of that production is coming as a result of manning the powerplay, which is not in his NHL future in Colorado, but the shot volume is a promising sign to watch if he gest multiple games in during his call-up. Hayden Soboleski

March 2023 – Colorado has signed undrafted college free agent Sam Malinski to a two-year ELC starting in the 2023-24 season. He will join the AHL Eagles on a PTO for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign. Hayden Soboleski

Malinski is a two-time ECAC all-star and captained Cornell University for the the 2022-23 season. The right-shot defender’s 26 points in 34 contests led the squad’s blueline, as did his 29 PIM. In addition to his strong offensive production, Malinski is also credited with 81 SOG and 38 blocked shots in his final college campaign. His scoring stats are aided by heavy usage on the powerplay, which he may get the chance to try and replicate in the AHL next year. His confident puck-handling and skating skills give him a toolbox to be crafty in the opposing end. The Eagles have a large number of players at all positions on expiring deals, so there will be spots on all lines and special teams available for Malinski’s first season of pro. Expect at least 2 years in the AHL to see how he is deployed before any potential fantasy-relevance gets realized, but remember that he is already 24 years old so there is less runway here than for other prospects in the system.


Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 8.0
Country USA
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth July 27, 1998
Height 5‘11”
Weight 190 lbs
Drafted No


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Lakeville South HighUSHS-MN24 0 00 14|Playoffs2 0 22
 2015-2016 Lakeville South HighUSHS-MN25 4 1822 8|Playoffs2 0 00
 2016-2017 Lakeville South HighUSHS-MN24 5 2227 16|Playoffs3 1 23
  Lakeville South HighMN State3 0 11 0|        
  Team MAP South Hockey UMHSEHL20 0 33 10|Playoffs2 0 00
 2017-2018 Cedar Rapids RoughRidersUSHL19 2 13 4|        
  Bismarck BobcatsNAHL28 1 910 8|        
 2018-2019 Bismarck BobcatsNAHL59 14 3145 24|Playoffs3 0 00
 2019-2020 Cornell Univ.NCAA25 4 1216 12|        
 2020-2021 Cornell Univ.NCAA0 0 00 0|        
 2021-2022 Cornell Univ.NCAA32 5 1823 26|        
 2022-2023 Cornell Univ.NCAA34 8 1826 29|        
  Colorado EaglesAHL7 3 25 0|Playoffs7 0 55
 2023-2024 Colorado AvalancheNHL23 3 710 6|        
  Colorado EaglesAHL30 4 1418 10|