The Colorado Avalanche is expected to have a quiet NHL draft with no picks in the first two rounds and only four picks overall.
Just don’t oversleep the reigning Stanley Cup winner. It’s possible that General Manager Joe Sakic is making noise with a trade in search of a top prospect. But Sakic already used several picks from the upcoming draft to trade three Avalanche players:
- G Darcy Kuemper: The Arizona Coyotes received the 2022 Avs first-round pick (#32), D Conor Timmins and the 2024 third-round pick
- D Devon Toews: The New York Islanders received the 2022 second-round pick (No. 65) and the 2021 second-round pick of the Avs
- D Patrick Nemeth (later signed with Rangers in Free Agency): The Red Wings earned the 2022 fourth-round pick of Avs (No. 129)
With more pressing decisions in hand in Colorado starting July 13, here’s an Avalanche NHL Draft Primer with what fans need to know ahead of the two-day event in Montreal.
When: 5 p.m. Thursday
Avalanche selection: none
Second to seventh round
When: 9 a.m. Friday
TV: NHL Network
Avalanche selection: #97 (3rd round), #161 (5th round), #193 (6th round), #225 (7th round)
Good luck finding cracks in the avalanche that need to be repaired by the draft. Colorado’s quality at every position made his run to winning the Stanley Cup possible.
Several prominent unrestricted free agents may be leaving over the next month – creating a roster need – but it’s unclear in what roles. Sakic has used his first pick as a defenseman in two of the last three NHL drafts. Some unsolicited advice for the GM? Take the best player available, regardless of position.
The Avs should also be open to hoarding future picks to create draft capital if Colorado actually needs it as its cap situation gets even tougher.
Sakic’s 3-year design history (2019-21)
- no 28 (1st round): RW Oskar Olausson, SWE
- No. 61 (2nd round): D. Sean Behrens, USA
- No. 92 (3rd round): C Andrei Buyalsky, KAZ
- No. 220 (7th Round): LW Taylor Makar, CAN
Remarkable: Olausson had 24 points (14 goals) in the OHL last season… Behrens was a freshman on DU’s NCAA championship team. … Taylor Makar, now a sophomore at UMass, is the younger brother of Avalanche star defenseman Cale Makar.
- #25 (1st Round): D. Justin Barron, CAN
- No. 75 (3rd round): C Jean-Luc Foudy, CAN
- #118 (4th Round): C. Colby Ambrosio, CAN
- #139 (5th Round): RW Ryder Rolston, USA
- No. 167 (6th round): C Nils Aman, SWE
Remarkable: Barron was sent to the Canadians in March via the Artturi Lehkonen trade. … Jean-Luc Foudy had 26 points (17 assists) in the AHL last season. … Ambrosio totaled 37 points (16 goals) in the last two NCAA seasons for Boston College.
- No. 4 (1st Round): D. Bo Byram, CAN
- No.16 (1st Round): C Alex Newhook, CAN
- #47 (2nd Round): D. Drew Helleson, USA
- No. 63 (3rd Round): C Matthew Stienburg, CAN
- #78 (3rd Round): RW Alex Beaucage, CAN
- #140 (5th Round): RW Sasha Mutala, CAN
- no 171 (6th round): RW Luka Burzan, CAN
- #202 (7th Round): G Trent Miner, CAN
Remarkable: Byram and Newhook played key roles on the Stanley Cup championship team. … Helleson was traded to Anaheim to bring defenseman Josh Manson to Colorado. … Stienburg has 39 points (18 goals) in two previous NCAA seasons at Cornell.