Colorado Avalanche History: Top 5 Draft Picks

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5. Tyson Barrie, #64 in 2009

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie scores the game tying goal. The Avalanche defeat the Stars 3-2 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This spot was originally going to go to Ryan O’Reilly. However, considering the hullabaloo about his current contract negotiations I decided to take O’Reilly off the list since he might not be an Avalanche much longer.

Let’s focus on Tyson Barrie. The young defenseman was an outlier. He’s small, and he initially didn’t seem to fit into head coach Patrick Roy‘s system. Last season coach Roy even sent Barrie back to the AHL for a brief stint.

Starting in the second half of the 2013-14 season, Barrie became such a valuable part of the team that his early exit from the playoffs thanks to Matt Cooke‘s knee-on-knee hit was cited as one of the reasons the Colorado Avalanche eventually lost to the Minnesota Wild. That’s high praise for a kid who didn’t look like he’d make the team permanently at the beginning of the season.

This season, Tyson Barrie was one of six players on the team who earned 50+ points, becoming only the fourth Avalanche defenseman to do so. (Along with Sandis Ozolinsh, Rob Blake and Ray Bourque.)