The big contract signing of the Colorado Avalanche’s offseason was inking Nathan MacKinnon to a long-term extension. But one of the contracts that flew below the radar was the team signing Evan Rodrigues as a depth forward.
With captain Gabriel Landeskog missing extended time thanks to multiple surgeries – and with no timetable for his return – Rodrigues has filled in consistently and admirably. He’s played an intermittent role on Colorado’s top line and with the top power-play unit. He’s put together a pretty steady season that’s within striking distance of the career year he had a year ago.
Rodrigues Came to Avs on a High Note
The Avalanche signed Rodrigues to a one-year deal after spending the previous two-plus seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 2021-22 campaign was the best of his career – and it wasn’t even close. He played in all 82 games last season, notching career highs in goals (19), assists (24) and points (43). It was the first time he hit double-digit goals in a season, and was a career-best in points by 14.
He also set a career mark with 15:50 of average ice time in 2021-22, but he’s blowing that number out of the water this season. For the Avalanche, he’s averaging 18:07 of ice time per contest and is on the brink of matching the scoring heights he reached last season. Rodrigues is just six goals and six assists away from matching his totals from a season ago, despite missing 11 games this season.
Related: Avalanche Forward Evan Rodrigues Developing Into Key Piece
Before his big year in 2021-22, Rodrigues had never eclipsed 30 points in a season. He’s now done it in back-to-back campaigns, and this season also marks just the second time he tallied double-digit goals. The Avalanche didn’t have to spend too much to pull Rodrigues aboard, but it turned out to be one of the better deals they signed – particularly in the face of all the injuries.
Rodrigues Has Helped Power Through Injuries
Injuries have taken quite a toll on the Avalanche roster this season, with big names like MacKinnon, Makar, Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin all missing extended periods of time. That’s left coach Jared Bednar shaking up the lineup far more often than he did last season when the Avalanche made their run to the franchise’s third Stanley Cup. But Rodrigues has been a stabilizing force during all those missed games.
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