Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Colorado Avalanche Draft Preview

First Round Position: 3rd

Best Picks of last 3 Years:

Kevin Shattenkirk (D) – 1st round 2007
Chris Stewart (RW) – 1st round 2006
Colby Cohen (D) – 2nd round 2007
T.J. Galiardi (F) – 2nd round 2007
Nigel Williams (D) – 2nd round 2006

Coming Down the Pipe – The Avalanche are a far cry from the perennial powerhouse they were since moving to Denver from Quebec City. Their superstars have all mostly retired, or are about to, and years of success hampered their ability to keep the cupboard stocked with top prospects. There are some talented youngsters in the system including T.J. Hensick, Kyle Cumiskey and T.J. Galiardi who have all had at least a taste of the NHL by now. Collegian Ryan Stoa was recently signed to an entry level deal as well. Colorado is deepest on the blueline when it comes to top-end prospects but there might be a shortage of natural wingers who can produce.

Draft Trends – The Avalanche have been very successful south of the border and have shown a definite interest in collegians or juniors who are headed to the NCAA, especially in rounds 2-4. These might be players who are considered risks or projects that may pan out over time given patience and 4-years of college hockey to develop.

Millard: Matt Duchene - For a while I was thinking Colorado might go after Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson in hopes that he has a little Peter Forsberg in him, but some don’t see MPS as being as complete of a player as Duchene and the Avs can’t take a chance in their rebuilding mode.

Flaming: Matt Duchene – As Joe Sakic’s career winds down his heir-apparent gets ready to help fill his shoes. The gifted middleman from Brampton will help rejuvenate a Colorado franchise that continues a successful rebuilding process.

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