With only two current defensemen over the age of 30, youth will be served on the Colorado Avalanche blueline. Not only are they young, but tall. Five of the current players are over six foot tall.
That starts and ends with Erik Johnson. The former number one overall draft pick will be looking to rebound after ending the season with a mere 26 points. Last season, he averaged 20 minutes a game and should see an increase with being on the top defensive pair.
Joining him on the top pair will likely be Jan Hejda, the elder statesmen of the group at 34. The shot-blocking machine actually led the Avs' defenseman in goal scoring with five goals.
After that, Ryan Wilson and Ryan O'Byrne should be lining up on the second pairing. There are four guys battling for the last two spots: tough guy Shane O'Brien, newcomer Greg Zanon, Matt Hunwick and Tyson Barrie. Depending on injuries and opponents, will determine who draws into the lineup.
Opening night is Saturday at Minnesota. Come back Friday for the preview on the forwards.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Erik Johnson, Hockey, Jan Hejda, NHL