NHL Notebook: Colorado Avalanche sign goaltender to two-year extension as Trevor Zegras returns to Anaheim Ducks lineup

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
22 days ago
The Colorado Avalanche have signed goaltender Justus Annunen to a two-year contract extension, the club announced Tuesday.
The new deal for their backup goaltender who has posted a 5-2-1 record, a .926 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against average this season, helps to sure up some organizational depth. While the dollar figure is not yet known, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reported it would be around the $833,000 mark.
It comes as Pavel Francouz, who is in the second year of a deal paying him $2-million, is on the long-term injured reserve. The organization also has Ivan Prosvetov in the AHL, who they claimed on waivers earlier this season from the Arizona Coyotes. He’s appeared in 13 games for their affiliate Colorado Eagles, posting a 8-3-1 record, .930 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against average.
Here’s more on Annunen, from Daily Faceoff’s Tyler Kuehl.
The Finland native was selected by the Avalanche in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft after building up his stock as one of the best young netminders to come out of the goalie-producing hotbed. Since coming over to North America in 2021, Annunen has gone up and down between the Avs and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Colorado Eagles.
The 24-year-old saw sporadic appearances in his first two seasons with the organization but has taken on a bigger role after Pavel Francouz was ruled out of the remainder of the 2023-24 season with a nagging groin injury. He was recalled by Colorado back in mid-January and has since made eight appearances with the Avalanche. He has a 5-2-1 record with a 2.38 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, posting his first two NHL shutouts in back-to-back starts on Feb. 29 and March 4, both against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Zegras returns

The Anaheim Ducks are getting forward Trevor Zegras back in the lineup Tuesday after a 31-game absence.
Zegras, who missed games early in the season, had returned for eight more before breaking his ankle in a January 9th game against the Nashville Predators. He’s drawn in for 20 games this season, scoring four goals and seven points.
His future in California is murky, years after being drafted ninth overall in the 2019 draft. Despite showing high-end offensive talent with two 60+ point seasons, there were questions earlier this season about whether or not he fits within the bigger picture of the Ducks organization.
This, from Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli:
I’ve got my eyes on Trevor Zegras. In speaking with teams around the league, they suggest that Zegras’ name has been out there, and in play. And while that may be a bit of a surprise for a guy who was a cover athlete on NHL 23 and has scored some incredible highlight reel goals, I think the truth is I don’t know many people believe Trevor Zegras meshes with the ultimate view of how (Ducks GM) Pat Verbeek wants to see the Anaheim Ducks play and their style. That loss could be someone elses gain.
Certainly not saying that anything is immenent, but the fact that Zegras’ name has been out there, the fact they opened training camp this season and they didn’t have Trevor Zegras there because this conract dispute was ongoing, which at times I think probably got pretty nasty, he’s got two years left on this bridge deal at $5.75 per. He’s hit 60-plus points in back-to-back years.
I think there’s some question to whether he’s truly a center or a wing in the NHL, but I think another team would be pretty happy to find out what tha answer is and grab him.
Again, not predicting or projecting that there’s a move before the deadline, but the fact his name is in play — and now that you add another piece in Gauthier — it certainly kind of feels like after Drysdale, another guy who went through a contract dispute this past summer and took a long time to sign, he’s gone, maybe Zegras is next.
It probably would’ve been really best to do it last summer before the contract dispute, before this season got off to a rocky start with just one goal in his first 12 games, the start before the injury. Before all those things, and not to say it spiraled, but it certainly has been a pretty tough start to the season for Trevor Zegras that probably would’ve been in the Ducks best interest and his to get a clean start elsewhere.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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