Colorado Avalanche: Go Forward Or Defense At 2015 Draft? – A MHS Bicker


The Colorado Avalanche are most likely going to pick tenth overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Before making that selection, GM Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy, along with the scouting team and others, will have to consider a variety of things. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Who (in their opinion) is the best player available?
  • Do they like his position, style, handedness, etc.?
  • How close is he to being pro-ready?
  • What does the team’s current prospect pool look like?
  • What are the team’s current positional needs?

As you may have heard, all FanSided NHL sites are participating in a month-long mock draft (click here for an updated list of selections). Each day, one team makes a selection and it is Mile High Sticking’s turn on June 3, so look out for that selection being made.

More from Mile High Sticking

Each site’s editors have the last word, but just like in the real NHL, all possibilities are being explored by the whole team. And so it came that Mile High Sticking editor Nadia Archuleta and I got into a little dispute about who we — and obviously the Colorado Avalanche — should select with the tenth overall pick.

I am assuming that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will be the first two picks, followed by Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin and Mitch Marner (in no particular order). Having made that assumption, I believe that any other player can potentially drop down to the Colorado Avalanche’s tenth overall pick. That includes defensemen Ivan Provorov and Zach Werenski, as well as many very promising forwards, including Lawson Crouse.

Considering the thoughts above, I simply made up a ranking.

  1. Lawson Crouse
  2. Zach Werenski
  3. Mikko Rantanen
  4. Timo Meier
  5. Pavel Zacha 

And that is it. I would like to see a big, talented forward for the Avalanche. Hence, four of the five players on my list are big forwards. Besides that, I believe that drafting the best player available is the best strategy. Players need time to develop and team needs change, so why draft a player of the position you have the biggest need at?

The one exception to the “big forward rule” is Michigan Wolverines defenseman Zachary Werenski. As I told our editor Archuleta, there are two things that all Stanley Cup Champions have: center depth and defense depth. The Avalanche have what I call center depth with Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and, as of now, Ryan O’Reilly. I believe that Werenski is the one defenseman behind Noah Hanifin that has super star potential. Ivan Provorov, and this is my bold prediction, does not.

More from Avalanche News

Archuleta’s main arguments all derive from the same source — King, er, coach Patrick Roy. Firstly, Roy has stated that he does not like drafting defensemen too high because they need too long to develop. Furthermore, he wants the team to get bigger physically, as stated in an interview with The Fan Morning Show. He even went as far as to say that they should have drafted someone bigger instead of Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon. Keep your head up, buddy, you’re a good man.

Because of that, Archuleta has one bold prediction (or call it a rule). Quote: “The Avs are NOT picking a D-man first round.” And this is where our little argument began. I mean, why not? What’s wrong with Zach Werenski or, if you’re convinced that he is even better, Ivan Provorov? As per Archuleta, it is simply the fact that they are defensemen. Plus, Provorov is only 6-foot-1, a midget in Archuleta’s eyes (no quote).

Furthermore, both Roy and Sakic have stated that they like their current group of defense prospects. The pro defense is a problem, but none that can’t be fixed through free agency and the Avalanche’s current prospects. Also, both Werenski and Provorov need time before they could emerge as first-pairing D-men.

So, as a conclusion:

"“Dear Colorado Avalanche, please draft Zach Werenski!” — Janik Beichler"

"“I love big, er, forwards!” — Nadia Archuleta"

Okay, I do not guarantee that either of the quotes above have ever been said that way, but they get our issue accross. Archuleta wants one of the forwards, I want Werenski if possible and a forward only if Werenski is off the board. I will leave you with that.

Who do you think the Colorado Avalanche should select 10th overall?

Next: 5 Avs Prospects That Can Make The Jump In 2015-16