Quarantine will prevent Bo Byram from joining Avalanche this week – The Denver Post
Avalanche top-prospect Bo Byram could be eligible to make his NHL debut Jan. 15 against the St. Louis Blues at Ball Arena, although that might be his first day with the team following a seven-day quarantine.
Avs coach Jared Bednar on Wednesday said Byram, 19, is scheduled to arrive in Colorado on Friday, which would be Day 1 of his quarantine. The co-captain for Canada’s silver-medal winning World Junior Championship team must have four consecutive negative COVID-19 tests during his quarantine.
Byram won’t be eligible for Colorado’s season-opener Jan. 13 against the Blues.
Byram was named Canada’s “best player” in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Team USA in the WJC gold-medal game in Edmonton. In seven games, he finished the tournament as Canada’s top-scoring defenseman with a goal and four assists.
Bednar previously said Byram would likely make the Avs out of training camp and see how he performs at the NHL level. The coach became more impressed with the first defenseman selected in the 2019 draft (fourth overall) from his body of work in Edmonton.
“He was really making a push to help Canada try to get back in that game last night. I thought he was a play-driving defenseman,” Bednar said. “He was up and involved in the rush. He was trying to be a difference-maker and that’s exactly what we want to see from him here.”
Byram will enter his third training camp with the Avalanche, which had two last season because of the NHL’s suspension of play. Bednar said Bryam has made great strides in his development.
“He’s gotten way bigger and stronger, more confident, a little bit more relaxed,” the coach said. “I’m excited to get him and see what he can do.”
Bednar also said he was impressed with two other Avs-drafted defensemen in the gold-medal game — the U.S.’s Drew Helleson and Canada’s Justin Barron. Helleson (selected 47th overall in 2019) was on the top pairing and assisted on the game’s first goal. Barron (25th in 2020) was a shutdown guy and primary penalty killer.
The fourth Avalanche prospect in Tuesday’s game was forward Alex Newhook (16th in 2019), who had six points (three goals) in six games.
“We’re excited about those guys, for sure, and congratulations to all of them on their gold and silver medals,” Bednar said.
Helleson and Newhook will rejoin their Boston College teammates and possibly play in Friday’s game against New Hampshire. Barron will return to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he’s scheduled to continue his major-junior career late this month. He’s eligible to participate in the Avalanche’s training camp but there are no available spots for him.
The missing five. Bednar said the five players who missed on-ice drills Monday and Tuesday did not participate in Wednesday’s scrimmage. Forwards Gabe Landeskog and Brandon Saad, defensemen Erik Johnson and Keaton Middleton, and goalie Philipp Grubauer are each “unfit” — likely because of COVID protocols.
Bednar said wingers Tyson Jost and Shane Bowers replaced Landeskog and Saad on the second line with center Nazem Kadri. Defenseman Conor Timmins stepped on the second pairing with Sam Girard. Goalie Adam Werner presumably replaced Grubauer. Middleton is a depth defenseman who will not make the team.
“I thought it had good intensity to it,” Bednar said of the scrimmage. “It got competitive. There was some physicality to it. Overall, I’d say I’m really happy with it.”
Avalanche lineup Wednesday
- Andre Burakovsky-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
- Tyson Jost-Nazem Kadri-Shane Bowers
- Valeri Nichushkin-J.T. Compher-Joonas Donskoi
- Matt Calvert-P.E. Bellemare- Logan O’Connor
- Extras: Martin Kaut, Kiefer Sherwood
- Devon Toews-Cale Makar
- Conor Timmins-Sam Girard
- Ian Cole-Ryan Graves
- Extra: Dennis Gilbert
- Pavel Francouz
- Adam Werner
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