Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic continued restocking the team yesterday, as they have re-signed Ryan Graves to a three-year, $3.16 million Average Annual Value (AAV) deal.
“We’re pleased to bring Ryan back for three more years. He bolstered our offense on the back end and is a big, powerful defender who earned his way into a top role on our blue line this past season.”Sakic Said
The defenseman led the league with a +40 plus/minus rating last regular season. The first time an Avalanche player led the league in that category since Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg in 2002-03.
Graves played the majority of the season on a top pairing with Calder Trophy winner Cale Makar and put up 26 points with nine goals and 17 assists. He also had one goal and two assists during the 2020 NHL Playoffs. He joins Val Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky, who have both re-signed with the Avalanche.
Drafted by the New York Rangers 110th overall in 2013, Graves was traded to Colorado in 2018 for Chris Bigras. At the time, it was seen as a minor league move to give both players a much-needed change of scenery.
However, during his first season with the Colorado Eagles in 2018-19, he impressed management enough to get a call up when injuries hit. That was all he needed. While he spent the rest of the season between the NHL and AHL, it was clear he would be getting more ice time in the future.
Eagles coach Greg Cronin was a huge part of that step up, and Graves told Scott MacDonald in March:
“I owe a lot of credit to him. He was tough on me and he gives you tough love and if you respond to that the right way he can help a player.”Graves said