The Colorado Avalanche has continued to sell and build for their future. Earlier today, the Avalanche traded goalie Craig Anderson to Ottawa for Brian Elliott. Now the Avalanche has made a deal with the St. Louis Blues.
The Avalanche picked up a first-round draft pick as well as forward Jay McClement and defenseman Erik Johnson and traded forward Chris Stewart, rookie defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a second-round pick.
Johnson was a 2006 first-round draft pick and has contributed five goals and 14 assists for the Blues. McClement, a second-round pick, has six goals and 10 assists.
This unsurprising move is something that can bolster both the Avalanche and Blues lineups as the regular season is winding to a close. Stewart has received criticism after an ill-fated fight broke his hand and sidelined him for more than a month.
Steward has been struggling offensively since his return to the Avalanche lineup. Shattenkirk has seven goals and 19 assists in his 46 games with the Avalanche.
Stewart is considered a power forward and can help the 13th place Blues continue their push for the playoffs. Shattenkirk has been named as a possible candidate for the Calder Memorial, rookie of the year, after a nine-game point streak for the Avalanche. His contributions from the blue line can help the Blues on their power-play situations.
McClement, a former IIHF gold medalist, is considered a two-way forward and can help reduce the workload of newly acquired goaltender Brian Elliott. Johnson was a member of the 2010 USA Olympic silver medal team and will help the Avalanche with their defensive grit and physicality.
The Avalanche seems to be building their franchise for the rest of this season, and getting a jump for the 2011-12 season as well. Expect the Avalanche to continue selling as the trade deadline nears and their season comes to a close.