One of the lightest used numbers in Avalanche history has a chance to leave its mark in the future. Only 35 players have worn 61 in NHL history including Nikita Zadorov with the Buffalo Sabres. The number was also only worn by five players in the 2017-18 season.
Andre Benoit (2013-14)
A true hockey journeyman, defenseman Benoit was undrafted and worked his way up the ladder of professional hockey. He spent several years in the AHL and even Europe in each of Finland, Sweden and Russia before getting regular playing time in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators in 2012-13.
Benoit’s 11 total points in 41 games that season must have caught the eye of Avalanche pro scouts as they brought him into the fold early in free agency in 2013 by offering a one-way contract. The hunch paid off as Benoit easily enjoyed the best season of his career posting 28 points in 79 games during the Avalanche Miracle Season of 2013-14 where everything went right.
Benoit unfortunately could not replicate the same success he had in Colorado with his next team in Buffalo. He then went back into his journeyman ways as he tried another stop in Sweden before settling back into an AHL career. Benoit does not currently have a contract anywhere so of this is it for Benoit he finishes his NHL career with 181 games played and 48 points. He wore the number 61 for Ottawa, Colorado, Buffalo and St. Louis.
Martin Kaut (Future)
There might be a glimpse of another burgundy 61 in the not too distant future. The 16th overall pick for the Avalanche in the 2018 draft is ready to begin his North American pro career and the right wing has a very good chance to make his NHL debut in the upcoming season. Kaut is on the rookie camp roster with the number of 61 which he wore with HC Dynamo Pardubice in the Czech Republic. The number 61 might become a popular sight sooner than later.