Avalanche free-agent signee Zach Redmond has an interesting story. The 6-foot-2 defenseman was born in Houston among triplets in 1988, minutes after his brother and shortly before his sister. His parents moved to Houston from Trinidad and Tobago, an island country off the northern edge of South America. The family is American caucasian and Zach and his siblings grew up in Jackson and Traverse City, Mich.

Zach played four years at Ferris State University, and was drafted in the seventh round in 2008 by the Atlanta Thrashers. He briefly played for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves before the franchise moved to Winnipeg, and mostly for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps the last three seasons. Redmond, 25, has played in 18 career NHL games, all with Winnipeg, and was offered a contract to remain a Jet. Instead, he signed a two-year, $1.5 million deal with the Avs on Tuesday.

“It was a matter of where I had the best opportunity to play in the NHL full time,” Redmond told me Thursday. “I was up (in Winnipeg) half the time last season, playing some times and not others. They were loaded on defense and it was nothing personal. They are pretty crowded up top on the right side, even with (Dustin) Byfuglien at forward. It was a good opportunity to move somewhere where I can try to get into the lineup every night.”

The Jets have big-money D Tobias Enstrom ($5.75M) and Zach Bogosian ($5.14M), plus Mark Stuart ($2.6M) and Grant Clitsome ($2M), and young Jacob Trouba, 20, who might be the best of the bunch heading into his second season.

The Avs have seven D under contract, with Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott deals forthcoming. For what it’s worth, the Avs will have five right-handed shooters (Erik Johnson, Nate Guenin, Redmond, Barrie, Elliott) among nine D (lefties are Brad Stuart, Jan Hejda, Ryan Wilson and Nick Holden). That’s a good split, especially when considering Elliott might begin in the minors, making it four/four. Johnson, Barrie and Redmond figure to play on the power play, which is a big part of Redmond’s game. He was on Winnipeg’s second PP unit last season.