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Avs send ’14 first-rounder Bleackley back to junior (and Roy’s not happy with why it happened)

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1

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Conner Bleackley’s time with the Colorado Avalanche is over after just one game.

Bleackley, the 23rd overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, was sent back to WHL Red Deer on Tuesday -- the day after playing 10:53 in a split-squad loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

The 18-year-old wasn’t expected to make the Avs roster this year -- in July, Red Deer coach Brent Sutter said Bleackley’s “not ready for NHL hockey” -- but this is a pretty quick exit from training camp.

The guy taken one spot ahead of Bleackley in June, Kasperi Kapanen, is expected to get a long look while trying to crack the Penguins roster; the guy taken two spots after Bleackley, Nikita Scherbak, was named player of the game in Montreal’s intra-squad scrimmage on Monday and will play in tonight’s preseason opener against Boston.


More light has been shed on the Bleackley situation and that of another fellow Avs prospect, Chris Bigras (32nd overall, ’13).

From the Denver Post:

Roy said he was disappointed in Bleackley and the Avs’ top pick in 2013, Chris Bigras, who also was sent back to his junior team. The coach said Bleackley, a forward, did not come into his first NHL training camp in adequate shape, and defenseman Bigras did not play as well as last year.