The Colorado Avalanche have reached another extension with a minor-league standout, inking Jacob MacDonald to a two-year contract. The deal comes after the team extended T.J. Tynan Thursday, and secures the Colorado Eagles will have their top two offensive weapons again next season. MacDonald was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but will now remain under contract through the 2021-22 season.
While MacDonald may be listed as a defenseman on the release, he’s been much more than that for the Eagles this season. Thanks to the injuries that the Avalanche were dealing with, the Eagles were at times short on capable forwards. That’s when they turned to MacDonald, who moved up and became one of the team’s key offensive contributors. In 56 games with the Eagles this season, the 27-year-old has 42 points, only a few shy of Tynan’s 47. The idea that he can play both positions successfully makes him even more valuable, but there could even be more than just the AHL in his future.
Though he may have only two games at the NHL level in his career, MacDonald has been so successful in the minor leagues he may be fighting for a roster spot with the Avalanche at some point. The team does have several players headed for free agency, including Mark Barberio and Kevin Connauton who will both be unrestricted. Even Nikita Zadorov, who is still a restricted free agent, could have an uncertain future with the club thanks to his cost. The 24-year-old would need a $3.2M qualifying offer, a number that becomes a little trickier to swallow should the salary cap stay flat (or even decrease) thanks to lost revenue.
Even without an NHL opportunity, it’s obvious that MacDonald can be an asset for the Colorado organization.
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An asterisk (*) indicates the player never played for the franchise in its current location.