The addition of Bodnarchuk comes a day after Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffered a lower-body injury in the second period of a win over Los Angeles.
Johnson will be out for the "short term," coach Patrick Roy said after practice Tuesday. Asked precisely how short, Roy said it might be five days or up to 12.
Colorado has been without defenseman Brad Stuart since November because of a back ailment.
"We just wanted to add some depth to our defense," said Roy, whose team plays St. Louis on Wednesday. "That was our plan behind this. We believe he's going to help us."
Bodnarchuk played in 16 games for the Blue Jackets this season, with two assists. He also appeared in 14 games for Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.
The 27-year-old Bodnarchuk was a fifth-round pick by Boston in 2006 and has played in 21 NHL games.
Roy said that backup goalie Reto Berra skated Monday and his ankle was sore.
"I'm not saying it's a setback, but at the same time it might take a little bit longer than we thought," Roy said.