Avalanche Morning Skate Notebook: Josh Manson Back

Today was the first morning practice of the 2022-23 season for the Colorado Avalanche, as well as Josh Manson’s first appearance. He returned to the team after taking three days off for the birth of his second baby girl. Mikko Rantenen was in the facility, but remained off the ice for maintenance. Val Nichushkin remains in a non-contact jersey, but only did the warm-ups and then left the ice.

There was a heavy mix this morning of veterans and hopefuls on the ice this morning with half the team on the road. It’s really become a guessing game as to who will be in the lineup tonight. Logan O’Connor was able to confirm that he will be one of those veterans on the team tonight. He joked that he will be on a line with two other forwards and that’s it. It is highly unlikely that Nathan MacKinnon Where Arturi Lehkonen will play as they were just working on puck handling skills the entire practice. Cale Makar also seems like an unlikely choice as he worked a lot on his edges.

Based on the jersey colors that were together, here are the projected lines I saw there today:

Blue: MacKinnon Lehkonen

Burgundy: Maltsev Kaut Beaucage Foudy

White: Late Burke O’Connor Scott

Grey: Olausson Compher Cogliano Rodrigues

Obviously a lot of those veterans won’t be playing tonight, but there might be a chance we could see Evan Rodrigues for the first time in an Avalanche jersey. Rodrigues was participating in drill number one for the power play unit with J.T. Compher and Bo Byram. There were a lot more prospects on the second unit for the power play like Alexandre Beaucage and Jean-Luc Foudy.

It will be nice to get back to real hockey games tonight. The Avalanche are playing a split team game at Minnesota 2-a-side today and it looks like Alex Newhook can play it. The puck will drop for tonight’s game at the Ball Arena at 7 p.m. against the Vegas Golden Knights. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AvsTerritory to see my journey tonight in my first game as a member of Colorado Hockey Now. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

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