When Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman surprised the NHL by parting with first- and second-round draft picks to acquire Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals last July, he quickly proclaimed him not just the team's goaltender of the future, but the present.

"There is a belief that this player is going to be a guy that can carry the load for us," Sherman said at the time. "The goaltending position was a priority for us. We believe that in Semyon Varlamov, we've addressed those needs this offseason and for many years to come."