Cohen, a 21-year-old rookie who the Avalanche drafted 45th overall in the 2007 NHL entry draft, was one of the Avalanche's more promising prospects, and fared well in his three game cup of coffee in the NHL this season, averaging over 17 minutes per game.
Even though his long-term prospects look good, Avalanche management obviously felt they needed help in the short term.
The 25-year-old Hunwick has, by no means, reached the ceiling of his abilities, but will immediately be able to help an Avalanche blue line that has struggled to move the puck well as a whole.
Hunwick had an impressive rookie season in 2008-2009, scoring 27 points and posting a plus 15 rating in 53 GP. In 2009-2010 he struggled, scoring only 14 points while posting a team worst minus 16 rating.
Through 22 games in 2010-2011, Hunwick has three points.
The trade for an underachieving young player fits the MO of Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman, who since taking over in 2009-2010 has carved a niche out of acquiring struggling players—Peter Mueller, Ryan O'Byrne, Daniel Winnik—and getting the most out of them.