Today the Colorado Avalanche's offseason roster got a bit bigger as the team announced the signing of five prospects to entry level contracts. At the forefront of the signees is forward Troy Bourke, Colorado's third round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft. He was the team's second pick in that draft, as they did not have a first round selection. This past season, Bourke served as the captain of the WHL's Prince George Cougars, where he has played all of his junior hockey. He scored 85 points (29 goals, 56 assists) in his last season with the Cougars, doing so in 69 games. Over his entire junior career, he had 236 points (84 goals, 152 assists) in 276 games. He will likely be playing with the Avalanche's AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, next season.
In addition to Bourke, the Avalanche also signed Dennis Everberg, Samuel Henley, Borna Rendulic and Roman Will to entry level contracts. Fans may recognize Samuel Henley's name, as he recently competed in the Memorial Cup tournament with the QMJHL Champion Val-d'Or Foreurs. His team lost the Memorial Cup final to the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings and fellow Avalanche prospect Cody Corbett.
All of these players are 20 or older, meaning that they are done with junior hockey. As is usually the case with recently signed prospects, they will probably all attend Colorado's training camp this fall, although it is unlikely that any of them will make the Avalanche's opening day roster. In the meantime, the AHL is the most likely destination for these players, although a couple of them have been playing in Sweden and Finland, and they may yet return to play there a while longer. For the Avalanche, this is all a part of the process of keeping a deep pool of prospects ready to answer the big league call if and when the time comes.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, Lake Erie Monsters, Memorial Cup, NHL, Samuel Henley, Troy Bourke