Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Over-Age Situation About to Get Cloudy...Again

After starting the season with three clear-cut 20 year-olds because of players signing pro contracts or injuries, a 4th over-age player is about to be thrown back into the mix.

Defenseman Jesse Dudas is set to make his return to the Broncos coming off his MCL injury Friday, November 21st. At that point the Broncos then have two weeks to get back down to the allowed three over-age players.

F Keegan Dansereau, D Spence McAvoy, and G Travis Yonkman are presently the three 20's on the roster.

The off-season was full of questions regarding the three spots with the possible return of Dale Wiese and Zack Smith. But after the two signed NHL contracts, the situation became
more clear. Then with Dudas suffering the knee injury in Oilers training camp, the three spots were all of a sudden set in stone.

So now what?

Keegan Dansereau isn't going anywhere. The captain for the month of November adds some much needed offense. G Travis Yonkman is still the #1 goaltender in theory and I don't think the Broncos are prepared to move him, especially with the current market on goaltenders being down. Too much supply little demand.

That leaves D Spencer McAvoy and D Jesse Dudas. Spencer has really played well in his role this season and was great yesterday in a 2-1 loss to Calgary. He was our 2nd star on our broadcast. I've never seen him log more ice-time in his career. He agreed post-game.
Jesse Dudas in my mind is one of the top defenseman in the Conference and adds size, toughness and a little swagger on the back-end. I've likened him to former Broncos d-man Aaron Rome in the past and I stick with that comparison.

It may come down to who holds more trade value in a defense-hungry market around the WHL. There's no doubt Dudas will fetch more value than McAvoy.

My take is that adding Dudas into the Broncos top four d-rotation gives them one of the best top four in the WHL (Doyle, Claffey, Dudas, Molle/McAvoy). But the Broncos have proven they are fine defensively without Dudas in the fold.

Plus, at some point you have to give some quality minutes to younger d-men like Joel Rogers, James Martin, Jordan Evans, and Andrew Hewett to help their development.

Nine defenseman is too many. Somethings gotta give.

Stay tuned.



O said...

Molle one of the top 4? Don't make me laugh.The guy hasn't done anything but give the puck away all year. Work ethic has gone out the window since he got drafted.

ed said...

Hey Jon the Pats could help with that 20 yr old problem we will take Dudas as we need a top 4 d-man.

Jon Keen said...


Who would you put in our top 4 then?


I can't see the Broncos doing the Pats any favours within the division.

O said...

You are talking about the best top 4 in the dub which we aren't even close to. Out of our defense I only like Dudas, McAvoy, and Doyle only because of his offensive part of the game. Seems scared to go in the corners and hit, which imo is a must for a defenseman. Claffey is slow and gives away the puck and Molle like I said has become to lazy. To compare them to the top of the league, well just not there. Look at Calgary's, Seabrook, Stone, Plante, Bonsor. Molle doesn't come close to any of those guys. These are just my opinions and I'm not a deeply informed or knowledgeable hockey person, just a fan.

O said...

..And if they trade Dudas to the pats I'll turn in my season tickets.

ed said...

The Pats did with Moose Jaw which means hell has frozen over. Besides with it being the top eight in the Con and not the top four in the division it's not that big of a deal any more.

ed said...

Hey Jon just read on Rod's blog that Doug Berry got fired.And Brian Burke is out and Bob Murray is for the Ducks.

SAJ said...

I wouldnt want the pats to pick up Dudas. We take enough stupid penalties in the backend as it he is too injury prone to live up to the price he will go for anyways.

This is a tough situation for the broncos. Dudas is exactly the type of player the broncos need, but he is just way too injury prone. Already had like 3 major injuries in 1 and a half seasons. Can they rely on a player like that?

McAvoy isnt the player Dudas is but he seems to be a leader in the backend, and is competant defensively.

ed said...

I never said that Dudas was in the top four in the dub I said he would be a top four with the Pats or on Swift.

Anonymous said...

Top four in the league? Jon you are a very good broadcaster and highly knowledgeable so I will give you a mulligan on that one. Claffey would be a 5-7 on at least half the teams I have seen, Doyle is one of the most inconsistent and underachieving players in club history, Molle is outrageously bad and McAvoy is a utility/eat up some minutes guy. I am all for rah rah...but that is a crazy comment. Rogers is becoming a great player and I agree that he is a solid kid and going to be great. Hate being negative, but you aren't even close on that one.

Anonymous said...

Dudas would be a 4 and maybe a 5 on the Pats.

ed said...

How could you say maybe a 5 on Pats are you on glue man. Sure Dudas is the best d-man in the league but really a 5.

Jon Keen said...

1:24pm Anonymous,

Thanks for the compliment... I think.

Compare our defense to anyone in the Eastern Conference and they easily meet or exceed the rest.

How do you think the Broncos rattled off 14 wins already this season? It's been defense and goaltending imo.

For our fans, we see these guys every game and it's quick to only notice their mistakes.

I've seen most of the other team's top four and we're in good shape. Believe me.

But, I can see how some people might not buy in to that train of thought.

Anonymous said...


"Doyle one of the most inconsistent and underachieving defensemen in club history?"

Read that again. WOW. What are you watching?

Doyle has been there every game...he's strong defensively and a GREAT PP quarterback. He also hardly ever makes an ill-advised pinching play...when he is in deep you'll likely see a goal.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to say the Broncos don't even have the best defence in the East Division let alone the conference. For my money, I would take the Saskatoon Blades goaltending and Defence over the Broncos.
Elliott, Niemi, Zahn, Funk, Klassen and Joe with Holtby in net is pretty hard to beat and probably a good reason why they are in first place and have gone something like 14-2-1 in their past 17 games or something crazy like that.

I would rank the Bronco's as having the 3rd -4th best defence.