The Hockey Writers is a highly respected hockey site that I visit daily but when I read their various mock drafts I was disappointed in their decisions for the Avalanche’s 2nd pick, 11th overall in the first round. The picks of the five writers went as follows:
- Salim Valji: 2nd Gabriel Landeskog/ 11th Nathan Bealieu (6/4)
- Ryan Pike: 2nd Jonathan Huberdeau/ 11th Ryan Murphy (6/10)
- Patrick Kearns: 2nd Adam Larsson/ 11th Sven Bartschi (6/17)
- Brendan Ross: 2nd Landeskog/ 11th Bartschi (6/19)
- Christopher Ralph: 2nd Landeskog/ 11th Bartschi (6/19)
Although I feel as though the Avalanche are more likely to take Huberdeau over Landeskog at this point it is hard to argue any of the guys on the 2nd selection. The 11th picks on the other hand I take much more issue with. First of all the picks of Bealieu or Murphy would be insane for the Avalanche considering two of their best prospects, Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott, are offensive defensemen. Another reason the picks don’t work is in both drafts Duncan Siemens is available and he fits what the Avalanche need considerably more then the other two. I personally am so sure the Avalanche won’t pick either Bealieu or Murphy I neglected to scout them in my Mile High Scouting series.
As for the other three writers, Kearns, Ross, and Ralph, I take less issue with Kearns then Ross and Ralph. With Kearns selecting Larsson with the 2nd pick I can understand why he would select Bartschi with the 11th pick despite the fact I feel the Avalanche would go with Armia, who adds more size. Ross and Ralph elected to select a forward for the Avalanche with both the 2nd and 11th picks, which would be an absurd thing for the team to do, although now watch it happen. Ross explains his decision by saying the NHL draft is loaded with defensemen but what he has failed to notice is the Avalanche do not have another pick until the 4th round so they have to select quality while they can. I respect all of these writers and I am no one to say I know more then they do but I feel in this instance certain factors were overlooked.