In a word: Buried.
The gem of an undrafted free agent the Avalanche smartly scooped up and signed to a NHL contract after an impressive training camp on the way to a 100 point final junior season with Brandon in the WHL? Yes, that Ty Lewis has spent the majority of his second professional season playing with the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL.
After a moderately successful first AHL season in which Lewis scored 19 points in 51 games and saw action on both special teams units for the Colorado Eagles he was sent to Utah to finish out the season. There he posted 13 points including five goals in seven games while his head coach at the time remarked he was already too good for the ECHL.
Despite this there was no place for Lewis in the AHL lineup at the dawn of the 2019-20 season. While he did draw into 12 contests during the injury crisis Lewis was sent down to Utah for a second time this season the day after notching his first assist of the year.
As Lewis has now spent extensive time in Utah he led the league in goals with 11 in the month of December and added a four goal hat trick in that month as well (seen below). He currently has 33 points in 23 games including 18 goals which begs the question what the plan is for his development, if any.
Listen for the announcer's sigh at the beginning of this clip 😂 Also Lewis gets the hat trick with assists from McGauley and Molino! The Lewis, McGauley, Molino line has 17 points tonight 😮
— Utah Grizzlies (@UtahGrizzlies) December 18, 2019
In a 6-1 recent win in Allen, TX it was another banner night for Lewis scoring his second hat tick in as many months (seen below) and totaling five points in the contest. His ability to score in tight is helping convert those shots into goals. Lewis has always had versatile talent as a north-south winger with a nose for the net but who brings the energy, work ethic, tenacity and all-around game the Avalanche so highly value. Like any young player consistency is something to improve but Lewis is the type of player who is an asset to the lineup every night.
Just for good measure 😂 Lewis gets the hat trick with help from Molino and McGauley!
— Utah Grizzlies (@UtahGrizzlies) January 14, 2020
Lewis has found chemistry with his linemates Tim McGauley and Griffen Molino serving as the top line and have combined for a plethora of goals together as seen in several of the clips above.
Ty Lewis ties up the game for the Grizzlies midway into the third.
McGauley and Wegwerth with the 🍎
— Utah Grizzlies (@UtahGrizzlies) January 5, 2020
Unfortunately Lewis isn’t the only NHL contracted second year pro that has spent a majority of his season in the ECHL. Both Josh Dickinson and Travis Barron are in the same predicament and are at or near point per game players as well. Currently five AHL contracted forwards are on the Eagles roster in Erik Condra, Colin Campbell, Michael Joly, Julien Nantel and Ryan Wagner with the first three receiving regular playing time.
Where Lewis goes from here remains to be seen.
Credit Colorado Eagles for the photo