The Colorado Avalanche have recalled Martin Kaut from the AHL. The 16th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft is projected to debut Wednesday night against the New York Islanders. The 20-year-old Kaut has five goals and 16 points in 31 games with the Colorado Eagles.
Avalanche Turn to Martin Kaut
Kaut’s recall is thanks to several injuries at the NHL level. Colorado has lost both Mikko Rantanen and Matt Calvert for several weeks at the worst possible time. There is less than a week until the trade deadline and the team is just three points behind the St. Louis Blues for the top spot in the Central Division. They also lost centre Nazem Kadri earlier this month, so their injuries are starting to pile up.
Kaut will be an interesting addition to the team’s bottom-six. He has the physical stature to be a checking forward at 6′-2″, 180 pounds but is seen more as a sniper. The team is clearly looking for a skill forward over a checking one. They could have gone with someone like A.J. Greer if they needed a grittier forward.
What to Expect From Kaut
Kaut’s development will proceed carefully. He started the year slowly but caught in recent weeks to receive his promotion. He will play on the team’s fourth line with Vladislav Kamanev and T.J. Tynan who was promoted late last week. Kaut might play on the penalty kill as well but the team could hesitate to rely on their youngest players on special teams.
He certainly has the scoring ability to make himself a factor over the next few weeks. Kaut was not a big scorer on the international stage but was consistently close to a point-per-game pace at several levels in the Czech Republic. He also has a solid relationship with fellow Czech Pavel Francouz who currently managed the team’s goal tending now that Philipp Grubauer is out with an injury as well.
What This Means for the Future
Colorado has more moves they could make if they desire. They could recall several more players from the AHL in the next several weeks depending on how Kaut performs. The farm system is also strong enough that several prospects could become trade bait. Colorado would love to have another top-scoring option to support Nathan MacKinnon. A strong performance from Kaut could place him on the trade block but the team might give him an extended look past the deadline.
Fans should be excited to see a recent first-round pick make his debut. He doesn’t have the skill Cale Makar demonstrates or Bowen Byram‘s upside but Kaut is one of the organization’s top farm forwards. A strong performance over the next weeks could make him a strong option for the opening NHL roster in 2020-21.