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Kaut Will Miss Colorado, Just Wanted More Opportunity



Credit: NHL

Martin Kaut just wanted more opportunity.

After his San Jose Sharks debut on Monday, the 2018 Colorado Avalanche first-round pick made waves when he shared that he had asked for a trade “probably five times during the five years” that he was with the Avs organization. Some fans took it to mean that Kaut was unhappy throughout his time in Colorado.

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Kaut clarified on Wednesday to San Jose Hockey Now: “It wasn’t [during] my first year. I think the last two years, probably. They told me they didn’t wanna trade me, so that’s it.

“I told my agent [J.P. Barry]. He called Joe Sakic. He just asked and they said ‘No.’

“I focused on my play with the [Colorado] Eagles and the AHL.”

Kaut understands why he didn’t get as much opportunity as he hoped, despite strong seasons with the Eagles. Last year, the Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche were as deep up front as any team in the NHL. This season, Kaut made 27 appearances for the Avs, but he couldn’t break into the top-three lines of a still-deep forward group that’s looking to repeat.

“I played, this year with the Avs, like 30 games or something. Most of the time, I played on the fourth line with two [defensemen] and I played center. I’m a right wing,” he said on Monday. “Played four or five minutes [in a game].”

Meanwhile, in his first two games with the San Jose Sharks since he was swapped for fellow 2018 first-rounder Ryan Merkley last month, Kaut has averaged 15:32 a night. With the Avalanche, he was averaging 9:08 a night. The Czech winger even scored his first goal in teal yesterday, assisted by summer training partner and Sharks No. 1 center, Tomas Hertl.

But overall, Kaut enjoyed his time in Colorado.

“I really didn’t say anything bad about Colorado,” he insisted.

“I came to the AHL when I was 18. I didn’t speak great English. So it was hard, but the goaltender from the Czech [Republic], Pavel Francouz, he helped me a lot in the first year and the head coach [too], Greg Cronin,” he recalled. “He helped me a lot. He [taught] me small details on the ice, like D-zone, grabbing sticks, forecheck. He helped me out and I’m glad.

“I had a pretty good relationship with the staff and coaches.”

But the 23-year-old winger is now excited to start his next chapter with the San Jose Sharks: “I’m here right now. I’m gonna miss Colorado for sure, but this is a new chance, new start, for my life. I’m excited to be here.”

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