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The 2013 draft class has been called one of the deepest in decades where the top 5 picks are “can’t miss” prospects, the next five could very well make any NHL roster next year, and the next 30 would be first rounders in most other draft classes. Seth Jones is a very intriguing prospect he has great size, a great shot, and is a proven winner at every level he plays at. Nathan MacKinnon is a great goal scorer as he showed in the Memorial Cup Tournament when he had 7 goals in three games and also added 6 assists. Johnathan Drouin is the craftiest playmaker in this years draft and his hailmary pass to MacKinnon in the Memorial Cup Final showed just how good he is. Valeri Nichushkin would most likely be everyone’s number one pick if he was from North America where teams wouldn’t have to worry as much about the KHL. Aleksander Barkov is a big two way center that looks to be a future #1 center in the NHL. rnrnLooking at the Avs roster next year we are loaded down the middle with Duchene, Stastny and O’Reilly and even our prospects Hishon, and Sgarbossa make the future look bright. Defense is a little less of a sure thing, I still think Johnson is a number one NHL Defensemen and that Joe Sacco underutilized him in key situations especially on the powerplay. But we also have three good prospects in Barrie, Elliott, and Duncan Siemens. Just looking at how Duncan Siemens was able to shut down MacKinnon and Drouin in the Memorial Cup Tournament I think he will be ready to make the Avs out of camp. At wing there is still a definite lack of depth and past Landeskog, Parenteau, and Downie there isn’t a sure fit within the top-6. Jones needs to prove he is worth even half of his $4 million dollar salary or he will definitely be an option as one of the Avs buy-outs. Jamie McGinn would be best served as a third liner and I think he would fit pretty well with O’Reilly. Olver, Vincour, and Palushaj would be AHL players on most other NHL rosters and fourth liners at best at the NHL level. At goalie I think this is Varly’s last year to prove something but he may have to beat out Giguere in camp to even have a chance to show what he can do. Good news is that Calvin Pickard is still in the Avs system and with Patrick Roy actually hiring a goalie coach, when he reaches the Avs there will actually be someone to nurture him into the starting role.rnrnNow with the first pick in the 2013 NHL Draft the Colorado Avalanche are proud to select...rnrnThe talks going on right now til June 30th in the Avs front office must be very intense especially with five players that could very well go number 1, not to mention the trade talks that will start to heat up especially when teams know what their cap room will look like. Do you take the headline grabber in Seth Jones, the kid that grew up in Denver inspired to play by the new top executive of the Avs, Joe Sakic. You can never have too much defense and grabbing a kid that is 6’4’’ has a bomb of a shot and skates like a 5’11’’ forward, that is very tempting and possibly too tempting even for the Avs new front office. However I say no, I think it is easier to add defensive depth elsewhere via trade or free agency and even later in the draft. Don’t believe me? Look at the 4 remaining teams in the playoffs there are 34 defensmen on the 4 teams’ active rosters of the 34 only 11 remain with the team they were drafted by. Of the 11, 5 were first rounders, 2 second rounders, 2 third rounders, and 2 fourth rounders. Good defensemen take time to develop and even if the Avalanche select Seth Jones 1st overall, I hope they take that into account and send Jones back to juniors for another season or even two. Jones could very well come into camp and be the best defensemen on the roster, but even then I would send him back because just think how good he will be in two years when he gets to camp and has had time to fully develop. Scouts have been saying that this type of defensemen just doesn’t come around that often, which is somewhat true, but I still think you can develop a kid drafted in a later round to be a pretty good defensemen. Look at Kris Letang, he was a 3rd round draft pick in 2005, in 2007 he was a regular on the blue line playing in 63 games and in the past couple years he has become one of the top-10 defensmen in the league and possibly even top-5. My point is why not, in a draft this deep, pick up a defensemen in the second or even third round or perhaps both and give them the time to develop. The Avs need more defensemen, but if we have a surplus of anything on defense its right-handed shots, we should look for a left-handed shot in the later rounds and even if we take one in the second round he could have a first round grade sense we are picking so high.rnrnThe player that showed in the Memorial Cup that he is worth taking #1 is Nathan MacKinnon, he is compared to Sidney Crosby for a reason, this kid was a man amongst boys out there and was named the MVP of the tournament. When I watch him play I see a hybrid between Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos, he has the scoring touch of Stamkos and is the sniper the Avs have been missing for a long time, but he also plays tough and isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas and get the puck. But yes he plays center, which is the one position the Avs have built up solid depth. But we can’t forget one important thing, Duchene, Stastny, and O’Reilly all are on the last year of their contracts, yes Duchene should and I believe will get resigned to a new long term deal, but Stastny and O’Reilly are a bit tougher to call. Stastny has not lived up to his $6.6 million dollar salary and will have to take a monster pay cut if he is to stay with the Avs. I still don’t think O’Reilly will ever be worth a $5 million dollar salary and he will also need to take a pay cut if he is to remain with the Avs and if he isn’t willing he will be trade bait at the deadline this year and will help the Avs get some help on defense or the wing. So even though we don’t need more centers for this coming year in the year after we may need a few more and adding a potential superstar would be an upgrade no matter what happens.rnrnThe darkhorse in my opinion is going to be Valeri Nichushkin, the 6’4’’ left/right wing would fill a major void in the Avs roster. looking at all 4 teams remaining in the playoffs they all have size up front and that has been the trend the past few years in the league, bigger skilled players dominating the playoffs. Nichushkin is one of those players that would instantly add size and a lot of skill up front to a position of need. Do we take Nichushkin 1st overall? I really doubt it but if we had a chance to move down within the top 3 and we have a chance to take him or Drouin theres no doubt I would take Nichushkin over Drouin. There has been a lot of talk that teams are trying to move up into the top-3 like Vancouver, not to take Jones, MacKinnon, or Drouin but to take Nichushkin. rnrnWhatever does happen the Avs will be adding a lot of talent to their roster on June 30th and have a chance to start building its way back to the top. I think the attitude around the Avs is going to start to change and this will be the first draft/free agency period we can start to see the type of players Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy want on their team. That said it is extremely difficult to know who the Avs are going to target in free agency, but with the cap lowering this year it’s fair to say a lot of talent will be hitting the market. Its an exciting time to be an Avs fan, let the countdown begin! rn
Filed Under:   Colorado Avalanche   2013 Draft  
June 4, 2013 9:43 PM ET | Delete
Jones makes the team right out of camp. Youre crazy if you think they would send him to junior for a year or two. If they keep the first overall, its between jones and mackinnion. Too bad they screwed up with ROR by matching that offer sheet. Could draft mackinnion and maybe nurse with CGYs pick
June 9, 2013 10:47 AM ET | Delete
nice paragraphs! if this were for an English class you would most definitely get an A ! nice job!
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