2015 NHL Mock Draft: from a Colorado Avalanche Perspective

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Picks 6-10

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#6: New Jersey Devils, defenseman Zach Werenski

Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 206 pounds

Say what you will about the New Jersey Devils, they like a defensive game. Zach Werenski is a big-ish defenseman with offensive upside. He’s also not afraid to get physical, which the Devils like.

A lot of mock drafts have the Avalanche selecting Werenski, but I don’t think he’s big enough for head coach Patrick Roy‘s plans.

#7: Philadelphia Flyers, center Pavel Zacha

Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 200 pounds

If the Philadelphia Flyers miss out on Lawson Crouse, they’re going to want another big, aggressive center. That man is Pavel Zacha. He’s a hitter with a shoot-first mentality and a lot of offensive upside (and I don’t just mean for getting under opponents’ skin). He’s ranked anywhere from #6 up, so Philadelphia selecting him seventh is a possibility.

I really want Zacha for the Colorado Avalanche, but he’s right up the Flyers’ alley.

#8: Columbus Blue Jackets, center Mitch Marner

Height/weight: 5-foot-1o, 164 pounds

Center Mitch Marner is small for this generation’s NHL. His talent and vision should have him go higher than #8, but I think the teams selecting before the Blue Jackets want size and aggression with their offensive talent. However, Columbus might like a refined two-way player with creativity.

The Colorado Avalanche already have their fill of small, speedy, creative players — no way they’d select Mitch Marner.

#9: San Jose Sharks, defenseman Ivan Provorov

Height/weight: 6-foot, 200 pounds

Defensemen are at a premium in the NHL. The 2015 NHL Draft includes three top-10 defensemen. If Hanifin and Werenski go early, the San Jose Sharks might get a chance at Ivan Provorov. He’s poised and possesses a solid two-way game.

Again, too small for the Avalanche.

#10: Colorado Avalanche, center/right wing Mikko Rantanen

Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 209 pounds

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Head coach Patrick Roy, who’s also VP of hockey operations and has the last say in player personnel, has stated he’d like to see the Colorado Avalanche draft a “6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 center.” Mikko Rantanen just so happens to be a 6-foot-4 center.

The Avalanche have also been signing big Europeans lately — Dennis Everberg, Borna Rendulic, Andreas Martinsen. Mikko Rantanen is an aggressive Finnish center who’s not afraid to do time in front of the net. He’s dominant with the puck and a born leader.

Could you imagine the big Finn on a line with wings (and leaders) Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla? I bet Patrick Roy can.