The Colorado Avalanche have 7 picks in this years NHL Draft. The good news is that they don’t have the #1 overall pick, which means they were actually good this past season. Instead, they’ll pick #23 in the first round. A couple of draft pick notes: The Avs traded their 2nd round pick to the Calgary Flames for Reto Berra and The Avs have the Toronto Maple Leafs 4th round pick as part of the Ryan O’Bryne trade.
Pick #23: Brandon Lemieux (LW). If he’s there at #23, I can’t see the Avs passing on him. The son of Claude, he plays the game just like his father. He’s already a power two-way player and looks to be developing into an elite power forward. He’s a grit guy who the Avs could really use given that they already have a lot of high-end offensive talent. For a look at other potential first round picks, check out Nada Archuleta’s “Avalanche Draft Options” article.
Pick #84: Nick Wolff (D). At 6’4” 194 pounds, Wolff is already a big defenseman with room to grow. His game is raw, but he had a good slap shot, knows how to clear the front of the net, and isn’t afraid to get nasty. This is the kind of “no-nonsense” defenseman that the Avs could use on their back-end.
Pick #98: Shayne Eiserman (LW). We’ll see if he falls this far, but if he does and if the Avs miss out on Lemieux in the first round, Eiserman could a solid replacement. He’s not as polished as Lemieux, but he’s the same type of power forward player who loves the contact down low and in front of the net.
Pick #114: Mike Amadio (C). Projected as a solid two-way center, Amadio has good size and skill to his game. Not a big time scorer but smart with the puck and always battles hard.
Pick #144: Julien Nantel (RW). The theme of this draft is “size and strength” and Nantel fits the same bill. Another hard working player who can do the dirty work along the boards.
Pick #174: Devin Williams (G). With the Patrick Roy-Francois Allaire combo, it’s always likely that the Avs will grab a goalie out of one of the Canadian Junior Leagues. Williams has spent three years in the OHL and showed a lot of improvement last season.
Pick #204: Olivier LeBlanc (D). With size out of the way, the Avs go for some skill on the back end with a good puck moving defenseman.