After three short days, the Colorado Avalanche have already closed the door on their 2011 Training Camp. In preparation for the annual Burgundy and White exhibition game, taking place this evening at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Here is a quick look at the rosters (courtesy of the Denver Post).
Starting defensive pairing: Kyle Quincey - Ryan O'Byrne
Starting goalie: Semyon Varlamov
Prospect to watch: Stefan Elliott
The Burgundy team does not have the top starters on their roster (aside from Varlamov), but they have a wealth of forward depth after the quality top line. Cody McLeod, TJ Galiardi, and Greg Mauldin have all been standouts in camp this year, and Jay McClement is a quality two-way forward.
This is the first chance for many fans to watch Stastny and European import Joakim Lindstrom play on the same line, and it should be electric. Both players have absolutely dominated camp as Lindstrom has forced his name into top six forward status after being an afterthought for much of the summer.
Keep an eye out for top defensive prospect Stefan Elliott, who has made a case to stay with the team after camp. His defensive game may be still developing, but he is an absolute offensive force with his combination of speed and aggressive play.
Starting goalie: Jean-Sebastian Giguere
Prospect to watch: Gabriel Landeskog
Aside from Giguere in net, you are looking at the likely starting five for the Avalanche on Opening Night. The Duchene line has been electric in camp, with a surplus of playmaking ability. Mueller's return to the ice has gone well so far, and he's the difference maker on that line with his size and pure skill. Ryan O'Reilly will center a second line with top rookie Landeskog and some combination of Ryan Stoa and Daniel Winnik.
The defense has quality depth after that top pairing, as Tyson Barrie and Cameron Gaunce both make their cases for the Opening Night roster. Gaunce is likely NHL-ready right now, but may spend some time in AHL Lake Erie to season his game.
On first glance, the rosters are fairly balanced. Burgundy has the forward depth advantage, and White counters with the better defensive depth. Both starting goalies have had stellar camps, and the two top lines are split up as well. If camp is any indication, the fans in Colorado Springs are in for a fast and physical hockey game.