Colorado Avalanche: Mikko Rantanen Is Pivotal To The Avs’ Success

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen was part of the 2019 NHL All-Star Central Division team and he deserved it.

Mikko Rantanen, was voted onto the 2019 NHL All-Star Central Division, with teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. The trio is known as the “Rocky Mountain Line”. The Rocky Mountain Line has been dominant this season and Rantanen’s talent isn’t going unnoticed. Rantanen’s performance this year has been nothing but outstanding.

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Why Is He An All-Star?

In 50 games this season, Rantanen has registered 23 goals, 51 assists for 74 points, which leads the team, and puts him second in the league, behind only Nikita Kucherov (78pts). Plus, in his last 5 games, Rantanen has been on fire, registering 6 points, including 3 goals. He has an average time on ice of just over 21 minutes, showing just how vital he is to the Avalanche forward core. He has a 2.92 points per 60 minutes, which ranks 18th across the entire league among players with over 12 minutes of time on ice per games played.

In addition, he’s not only great offensively either, he’s got great defensive stats as well. He has more takeaways (25) than giveaways (23) this season. In terms of his career numbers, he has a 120-86 (+34) TK-GV differential, showing he has always been smart with the puck. His Corsi For % (CF%) has also been impressive this season, standing at 52.5%. Plus, he’s also not afraid to play the body (38 hits) and also he puts his 6’4 frame in front of shots too (28 blocks).

Off-Season Outlook

Rantanen is one of 15 total restricted free agents (RFAs) in the organization. He’s one of six pending RFAs on the Avalanche roster. Alexander Kerfoot, Nikita Zadorov, Sven Andrighetto, J.T. Compher and Vladislav Kamenev will also hit the market on July 1st.   

With his consistent play alone, he’s looking at upwards of $7 million USD, but once you see his average time on ice and the level of competition he’s facing each night, it’s a boost. Plus, his success in all three zones puts him far ahead of most players in the league. He has more points than Steven Stamkos (57pts) and a better TK-GV differential, as Stamkos has a -19 (17 TKs, 36 GVs) this season. He also has a much higher CF% than Mark Scheifele (49.7%) this season. So when you take his offensive production, along with his ability to keep the puck away from the opposition, and the fact that he rarely gives the puck away, he’s in for a big paycheck. He could be looking at around $8-$9million.

What To Expect Down The Stretch

Dependent upon what the Avalanche decide to do at the trade deadline this year will dictate his workload for the remainder of the season. The Avalanche secondary scoring has not been as good as it needs to be, and they should certainly look for cheap depth options. If they do get a solid piece at the deadline, he could be looking at a lighter workload moving forward. He will still be putting up big numbers, and I don’t see his CF% or his TK-GV differential changing drastically. That being said, the Avalanche have a key player that dominates in every facet of the game and will be getting a handsome pay-day this off-season.

All stats from hockey-reference

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

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Author: Kyle Pereira