Colorado Avalanche: Three Possible Draft-Day-Scenarios


More from Avalanche News

Last night, a little bit after 8 P.M. ET, most NHL fans and teams had their dreams shattered. The fans of the other 13 lottery-teams because they obviously wanted to win the McDavid sweepstakes. The fans of the 16 playoff-teams had their minor dream shattered that… well… the Oilers don’t get another reward for their horrendous management. However, the Edmonton Oilers — I don’t even want to say it — won the draft lottery and will pick first overall for the fourth time in six years. So where does that leave the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the tenth pick?

There is more than one possible scenario. I will show you three of the — in my opinion — most likely scenarios, ranked by likeliness.

3. The Avalanche trade Ryan O’Reilly and the tenth-overall-pick

This is a scenario that is indeed possible. However, I hope that it won’t happen. Ryan O’Reilly has played like a #1-center over the last weeks of the season, shining on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay or Nathan MacKinnon. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old Canadian was not only the Avalanche’s #1-center, but also their #1-trade-bait nearing the deadline. The reason for that was, and still is, his contract.

Back in 2013, the Avalanche and O’Reilly struggled big-time in their contract-negotiations, as O’Reilly — after a breakout-season — wanted a contract that pays him more than double of what the Avs were willing to pay him. It took an offer-sheet from the Calgary Flames to get him under contract eventually.

Live Feed

3 reasons the Avalanche won't win the Stanley Cup in 2024
3 reasons the Avalanche won't win the Stanley Cup in 2024 /

Puck Prose

  • Could Flames Goalie Dan Vladar Be A Trade Option for the Avalanche?Flame for Thought
  • Colorado Avalanche sign free agent Tomas Tatar to one year dealPuck Prose
  • The most important player to watch this season for the AvalanchePuck Prose
  • 2023 Central Division Preview Series: Colorado AvalancheBlackout Dallas
  • The Top 5 Centers in the NHL Today Might Not Be Who You ThinkPuck Prose
  • This time around, the Avalanche are in a similar situation, with one major difference. Ryan O’Reilly will be an unrestricted free-agent after the coming season. If they want to avoid losing him to free-agency in 2016, they will have to lock him up long-term before then — preferably this off-season. Should Joe Sakic fail in that attempt, Sakic and Roy will have to look into trading O’Reilly, as long as his value is still high.

    So what would possible trades look like? The Avalanche could either try to simply trade O’Reilly for assets, or package him with the tenth-overall-pick. If they were to do that, they could try to get a trade with the Arizona Coyotes done, that could send the third-overall-pick, namely Noah Hanifin, over to Colorado. Another possibility would be to trade the package for an NHL-defenseman.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Avalanche and O’Reilly agreeing to terms sooner rather than later, though.

    2. The Avalanche trade the tenth-overall-pick + X to move up

    Another possibility would be to package the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round-pick with another asset — that is not O’Reilly — to either move up in the draft, or acquire an upgrade on defense. Jamie McGinn and even Matt Duchene have been talked about as possible trade-baits. Much more likely than trading away Matt Duchene — who I believe is an extremely important part of the team — is to package this year’s pick with the first-rounder next year.

    There are nearly endless trade-possibilities for draft day.

    If that were to happen, the Avalanche could try to move up in the draft to acquire Arizona’s third-overall-pick and draft Noah Hanifin. If the Coyotes pick Dylan Strome at number-three, a trade with the Maple Leafs could also be possible. Strome would be the perfect match for the Leafs. But if he is gone once the Leafs are on the clock, they may be interested in getting another draft pick next year and snag one of the many centers that will be available at tenth overall.

    Even if Hanifin goes off the board at third overall, the Avalanche could be looking to move up just a few spots and secure Zach Werenski or Ivan Provorov. There are nearly endless trade-possibilities for draft day.

    1. The Avalanche pick tenth overall

    This is by far the simplest and, in my opinion, most likely scenario. The Avalanche simply hold on to their pick and select tenth overall. There is an incredible amount of talent available in the top-20. We have Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel as the safe first two picks, then Hanifin, Strome, Marner, and Crouse as sure top-10-picks, but behind that anything can happen. The tenth-overall-pick this year can bring players that would be top-3-picks in other drafts.

    For a deeper look at who the Avalanche could target in the first round, check out my post from a few weeks ago.

    As a conclusion I have to say that all we learned from the draft lottery, is that we won’t get Connor McDavid to come to Colorado. So we basically didn’t really learn anything. There are tough decisions to be made for Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy — and even though being an armchair-GM is a lot of fun, we can be glad that we are not the ones that will have to make those decisions. Anyway, let us know what you would do!

    Here is my mock-draft from today. Let me know what you think!

    Next: Roster Outlook Part 1 - Goalies