Colorado Avalanche Sign Anton Blidh to One-Year Deal

The king of depth added another forward to the mix. The Colorado Avalanche signed Anton Blidh to a one-year deal, the team announced last week.

Blidh’s History

The 27-year-old, who hails from Molnlycke, Sweden, appeared in 32 games for the Boston Bruins this past season, accumulating a career-high nine points (two goals, seven assists). Albeit not the prettiest of statistics, it’s not a bad result for a guy who was selected 180th overall in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL draft. In over 70 NHL games over six seasons with the Bruins, Blidh has scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists).

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Blidh has spent the majority of his career with Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, where his numbers have been much better. In 278 games, he has tallied 88 points (46 goals, 42 assists). Furthermore, Blidh has appeared in 25 postseason games with five points (four goals, one assist). 

How Blidh Can Help Colorado

The writing was on the wall that Blidh would end up leaving the Bruins organization after voicing his frustration with his lack of ice time. The depth of the Avalanche, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, is perhaps the strongest part of their team.

Of the 308 goals scored during the 2021-22 regular season, 22 percent of those markers came from the Avs’ top two scorers: Mikko Rantanen (36 goals) and Nathan MacKinnon (32 goals). That would mean that an astounding 78 percent of the goals came from outside the top two scorers. Compare that number to a top-heavy team, like the Edmonton Oilers, 35 percent of their goals during the regular season came from their top two men: Leon Draisaitl (55 goals) and Connor McDavid (44 goals). 

If the Avalanche can duplicate their success from last season, it could allow Blidh to not only have more ice, but also provides an opportunity for the kid to exhibit what he is truly made of.

Blidh will also reunite with Artturi Lehkonen, as they were former teammates on Sweden’s Frölunda HC in 2014-15. In 48 games played that season, Blidh scored five points, all goals.

Room For Improvement

While Blidh landed 82 hits to opponents last season and added 17 blocks during his 32 appearances last season, he also spent 28 minutes in the penalty box. The Avalanche do have a stellar penalty kill, but that’s still a concerning number and something that Blidh should work to improve on as we approach the new season. Expect Blidh to start off his Avs career with the Colorado Eagles in nearby Loveland, but should injuries come into the fray, he could forge a path to become a permanent member of the roster.

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