The odds are still stacked against Chris Bigras making the Avalanche this season. The fact that there any odds at all right now however is a victory for the 18-year-old defenseman. While NHL rosters continue to trend younger making the NHL straight out of junior hockey at Bigras' age is highly difficult for defensemen. Most coaches and management people in the league think that's just too soon for defensemen that there is too great a chance for bad things to happen in their development. One bad shift or two in training camp or one bad period in a preseason game and it becomes too easy to say "Better let him keep learning back in junior." By all accounts Bigras has not suffered from too much of either in training camp with the Avs. His was the first name out of coach Patrick Roy's mouth when Roy was asked who had impressed him the most the first day of camp last week. In his first preseason game Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks Bigras played a regular shift alongside veteran Erik Johnson finishing even in nearly 23 minutes of ice time. Bigras (pronounced "Bih-grah") is hopeful he'll be sticking around Denver after the final cuts are made. "My goal is to stay here but I know I can only control what I do on the ice and not what happens off it" said Bigras a native of Elmvale Ontario. "I haven't really proven anything yet." Bigras was projected by some to be a first-round pick in the NHL draft June 30 in Newark N.J. But by the time commissioner Gary Bettman announced the 30th and final pick in the first round Bigras still was seated in the stands of the Prudential Center.
Chris Bigras turning heads in Avalanche training camp at age 18
Denver Post | Sep 21