Avs’ top draft pick making an impression at camp | VailDaily.com

Avs’ top draft pick making an impression at camp

Adrian Dater
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado
ENGLEWOOD, CO--SEPTEMBER 9TH 2009--Matt Duchene reacts to s shot on goal on the first day of Colorado Avalanche rookie hockey practice at the Family Sports Center Wednesday morning. THE DENVER POST/ANDY CROSS

Matt Duchene is the new face of the Avalanche, but at Park Meadows mall, he’s just another teenager in jeans and a T-shirt. About the only people who have approached him during his regular visits to the mall have been salespeople from vendor carts.

“I’ve been flying under the radar so far,” Duchene said, smiling Monday after his first training-camp scrimmage with the Avs.

“Playing in Brampton (Ontario) for junior, it’s not a big hockey market, so I’m used to that,” Du-chene said. “I actually still get surprised when people come up to me. I’m flattered and kind of embarrassed sometimes, because I feel I’m just a person, right?”

Enjoy the anonymity while it lasts, kid.

It was impossible for the packed crowd at Family Sports Center not to notice Duchene on Monday. Centering a line with Milan Hejduk and David Jones, the Avs’ top draft pick this past summer dazzled at times with the puck, scoring two goals and nearly setting up a couple more. New coach Joe Sacco’s tactic of using him with two upper-tier forwards may be a sign the Avs have plans for him to stay with the big club all season, and not send him back to Brampton.

That is Duchene’s assumption too. Spend much time around the native of Haliburton, Ontario, and you know he’s not a braggart, but does not lack for confidence.

For more of this Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13337994

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