The Colorado Avalanche are on the quest to repeat, something that has not been done since the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to capture the Cup in 2016 and 2017. Before that, the Detroit Red Wings managed the feat in 1997 and 1998.
Part of making a championship run is finding depth contributions. Sure, the core group – Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar – is going to do the heavy lifting but it will be the fringe contributors that wind up making the most critical contributions.
That is where Denis Malgin comes into play. The diminutive center has been a pleasant surprise for the Avalanche this season. Let’s take a closer look at how he got here, what he’s doing, and whether he can continue his path forward.
Denis Malgin you BEAUTY!#GoAvsGo
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) February 16, 2023
How Malgin Got Here
Malgin’s story is one of perseverance. Undersized – 5’9”, 175 – Malgin was a fourth-round pick of the Florida Panthers back in 2015. It would take just one full season before he would see significant NHL action, a total of 47 games with the Florida Panthers.
Malgin, despite being small, had all the tools to be a successful NHL player. Though he doesn’t possess burner speed, his skating ability is definitely a plus. Perhaps his best trait is his hockey IQ, allowing him to see the game in ways that many do not.
Malgin would see regular action with the Panthers over three seasons, posting career-highs in goals (11), assists (11), and points (22) during his first 51 games with the Panthers. But it wouldn’t be smooth sailing from there.
Malgin would be dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs and failed to find a groove. In 31 games with the Leafs, Malgin managed just a pair of goals and assists, not to mention a mountain of frustration.
☑️ First goal as an @Avalanche.
Denis Malgin lo