DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Avalanche fans got their first look at the team’s rookies on Monday.
The Avs opened development camp this week and they hope the rookies develop in a hurry, especially first-round pick Mikko Rantanen. He’s 18 years old but he’s a big player — a 6-foot-3, 210-pound forward.
“We want to be a grittier team, no question about that. We’re in a conference where we’ve got to get through some teams that have size,” said Joe Sakic, Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. “But we didn’t just go for size. You’ve got to be able to play the game and skate, and they can all do that, and that’s the most important thing.”
If Rantanen doesn’t make the Avs’ roster he can always return to Finland and continue to play there.
“Trying to learn new things, that’s the one thing that I want to do. That’s the biggest thing, I think, is to bring new things to Finland and how to improve my game,” Rantanen said.
Development camp is held for the rookies to become familiar with the team and show off some skills.