The Colorado Avalanche continued reshaping their roster with young players as they have called up forward Rocco Grimaldi and defenseman Duncan Siemens from the San Antonio Rampage. Both players have been stars for the Rampage this season.
The 24-year-old Grimaldi is among the league leaders in AHL goal scoring with an impressive 29 through 68 games played and brings even more speed to the forward corps. He has already appeared in one game for the Avalanche this season. He is in the final year of his original three-year entry-level contract, signed as a member of the Florida Panthers, and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Siemens, 23, is coming to Denver after years of waiting on the bruising defenseman to develop. He was a first round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, 11th overall, and has appeared in one NHL game in the past, the season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. A classic defensive defenseman, Siemens has produced six points (2 g, 4 a) in 68 games for San Antonio this season, one short of his career-high of seven, set last year.
The real story with the call-ups is the Avalanche have decisions to make on both players and where they fit into the organization beyond this season. Grimaldi would seem to make plenty of sense to return as their forward depth continues to be lacking and this late-season look should only serve to give him a head start on next season.
For Siemens, this is everything and nothing all at once. Given the hype and expectations of his draft position, his development has been nothing short of disappointing for both fans and the organization. This season, he's reliably locked down San Antonio's top pairing on the left side and his strong skating ability has always seemed a perfect fit for today's NHL but something was always lacking in the eyes of the Avalanche.
While Colorado only has four games remaining, it's hard to imagine their opinion of the player drastically changing based on one week in the NHL but at least they're giving him the opportunity before potentially moving on this summer. If nothing else, this is a chance for Siemens to prove the organization should have given him a shot long ago and showcase himself for the rest of the NHL.
With these moves, the Avalanche have now used all four call-ups available to them after the trade deadline.