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The Colorado Avalanche acquired the former first overall pick from the St. Louis Blues, along with Jay McClement, midway through last season for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. At the time, it appeared that the Avalanche were entering a rebuilding stage, trading away one of their best goal scorers in Chris Stewart.
But looking back on the trade, it has been very beneficial for the Avalanche, as they acquired a great young defenseman and an alternate captain.
This season, Erik has 14 points in 36 games—yet his scoring does not tell the story. He is known for his defensive skills as one of the defensemen on the Avalanche's first line, and ranks second on the team in ice time, at 21:38 a game.
Stefan Elliot has become one of the great stories as far as the team is concerned. Elliott was a second-round pick by the Avalanche back in the 2009 draft, and was expected to make the opening day roster—yet failed to.
Elliott has taken advantage of his opportunities since his call-up, scoring four goals and receiving credit for four assists in only 19 games this season. His four-goal total ties him for 10th on the team.
Shane O'Brien has proven that he can dish the "burnt biscuit," with 12 assists in his 41 games with the team. O'Brien's career high in assists is only 17, which came in his 21-point season with the Lightning back in 2007-2008.
Shane ranks second in penalty minutes with 57, showing that the Avalanche have faith in his defensive penalty-killing ability.
Shane is with his fifth team in eight years; we'll see if he can take advantage of his time with the Avalanche and stick around for a while—or receive a larger contract from a team elsewhere.
Kyle Quincey doesn't like to sit. The Avalanche defenseman was unhappy with being a healthy scratch after he returned from injury. He does have a point—the 26-year-old defenseman ranks first on the team in time on the ice and sixth on the team in points (first for defensemen).
Quincey was held out of the lineup while the Avalanche were riding a winning streak. Quincey said it was hard rooting for the team, just because it meant he wasn't going to play. Quincey did return to the lineup on Dec 29, when he received an assist in 18:39 of ice time.
In the two games following, Kyle scored a goal and tallied an assist.
Jan Hejda is entering his first season with the Avalanche, and sixth year professionally. Jan has 12 points on the season, with four goals and eight assists. Jan is already only one goal away from tying his career high in goals, which came when he scored five last season for the Blue Jackets. Jan is tied for the team lead in blocks with 69.
This season, Ryan has already tied a career-high in goals—only one. Ryan is tied with fellow defenseman Jan Hejda in blocks, and is second in hits with 101.
Ryan has appeared in all 41 games with the Avalanche, and the team will continue to look for production from one of the veteran defensemen on the team.