Avalanche top-prospect Justin Barron skated with elite summer group in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Avalanche rookie defenseman Justin Barron had an interesting summer in Eastern Canada, skating almost daily with three esteemed forwards from his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Boston's Brad Marchand are shoo-ins for Canada's 2022 Olympic team, and Barron — who will play in his third preseason game Tuesday night — said trying to defend them during the summer skates was eye-opening.

"You got three of the best players in the world, so it was great for me getting to defend those guys in practice every day," Barron said during Tuesday's morning skate at Ball Arena. "It was probably the best thing I could have done."

Barron, who played in Monday's 3-1 loss at Minnesota, will be MacKinnon's teammate Tuesday night as the star center makes his preseason debut along with fellow top-six forwards Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky. The Avs and Knights both submitted more veteran lineups as next week's openers approach.

Barron, 19, might not make the opening-night roster because of guaranteed contracts and his youth, but Avs coach Jared Bednar has showered…
Mike Chambers
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