Avs don’t want Evan Rodrigues to be Nazem Kadri. But with Gabriel Landeskog harm, they want Rodrigues now greater than ever.

If you’re an Avs fan who’s penciled in Evan Rodrigues because the man charged with filling a Nazem-Kadri-sized gap in coach Jared Bednar’s high six, you would possibly wish to preserve that eraser helpful.

“(You) just play your own game,” Rodrigues, who signed a 1-year, $2 million free-agent take care of Colorado on Sept. 12, stated through the first day of Avs coaching camp Thursday.

“You can’t focus on the media, what fans are saying or anything like that. You’ve got to stay in your own head and stay confident … I’m just here to help this team win games. So whatever the coach needs from me on offense, defense, power play, penalty kill — wherever you need to be in the lineup. I’m just here to try to help this team win. I’m keeping it that simple.”

Like the 31-year-old Kadri, who final month landed a seven-year, $49-million contract from Calgary, Rodrigues, 28, is coming off a career-best season. The former Pittsburgh Penguin posted NHL single-season highs in targets (19), assists (24), factors (43), power-play targets (seven) video games (82) and common ice-time (15:50 per recreation).

“I’ve always kind of had that mentality that I feel most confident when the puck’s on my stick, and I like having the puck and making plays,” Rodrigues defined. “ And so final yr, taking part in middle, taking part in high six minutes, getting the puck quite a bit, it simply sort of bolstered that perception that when I’ve the puck … after I’m taking part in assured, I can play with the perfect of them. And I attempt to proceed to have that mentality, as a result of in my head, I absolutely consider it.

“I know when I’m when I’m playing confident, that’s what I’m playing my best hockey.”

Bednar expressed loads of confidence in his new ahead early, pairing him early within the first follow of the day on a line with Alex Newhook and tryout candidate Alex Galchenyuk, one other veteran middle possibility with faceoff expertise.

“I liked him a lot (Thursday),” Bednar stated, grinning when requested about of Rodrigues’ camp debut. “Real good puck poise and patience, (a) smart player with the ability to pass and shoot. I thought he made some nice plays out there, just even in the small area — even at the end, he made some nice plays. (He’s) an elusive guy, got some good deception to his game. So he’s going to be a real nice addition, especially when you’re looking at some of the guys that we may have out of the lineup to start the season.”

New faces resembling Rodrigues might show important within the early a part of the yr for Bednar, who stated Thursday that captain Gabe Landeskog “won’t skate anytime soon” due to a lingering lower-body damage sustained late final season.

The coach stated the damage might “definitely” delay the beginning of Landeskog showing within the 2022-23 common season, which opens Oct. 13 towards Chicago at Ball Arena.

The likelihood for minutes, particularly within the fall, was a part of what made the Avs an interesting vacation spot for Rodrigues, whose body (5-foot-11, 184 kilos), acceleration and stick work are just like Kadri’s, though he’s not as bodily or as defensively well-rounded as the previous Avs middle.

“No one in this room is going to say, ‘I only want to play 10 minutes (per game).’ They’d be lying to you (if they did),” stated Rodrigues, who recorded 30 of his 43 factors final season earlier than Jan. 8. “You always want to play the most minutes you can. But you just do what’s asked of you, and at the end of the day, winning is the most important thing. So (if) you help the team win, you’re going to have success.”

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