With Olver gone, Avs sign Bourke

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

When news came that Mark Olver would be heading to the Kontinental Hockey League next season, a spot up the middle was open on the Colorado Avalanche depth chart. Earlier today, the Avalanche filled that gap.

Troy Bourke, who spent his last four seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars, was signed to a three-year entry level deal. After his fourth, and final, junior season came to an end, Bourke joined the Lake Erie Monsters for fifteen games.

Bourke, 20, was a third round draft pick of the Avalanche in 2012, and is coming off of his best WHL performance. In 69 games this past season as an over-ager, Bourke scored 29 goals and added 56 helpers for 85 points. His previous career high was 56 points in 71 games.

In his brief stint with the Monsters, the Edmonton native notched three goals and four assists. Next season, it appears Bourke will be suiting up for the Monsters for more than just a handful of games.

Olver leaving Lake Erie for Sochi

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

Following a career year in the American Hockey League, it appears that Lake Erie Monsters forward Mark Olver is heading to the KHL Sochi Leopards.

Darryl Wolski, an agent with 2112 Hockey Agency, tweeted this afternoon that Olver has signed a deal with the KHL’s expansion franchise for 2014-15.

Olver, 26, is coming off of the best AHL campaign of his career, tallying 15 goals and 49 points in 65 games in 2013-14. A point-per-game player in the NCAA with Northern Michigan, Olver came to the Avalanche organization in 2010-11. Drafted in the fifth round, 140th overall, in 2005, Olver has 74 games of NHL experience, but couldn’t stick with the club this season.

With a youth movement taking place in Colorado, and a glut of young forwards coming through the ranks, it became apparent this season that Olver would likely need to move on to get to the NHL. A restricted free agent this summer, it appears that, instead of trying to get another NHL deal, Olver will head to the KHL.