Avalanche Prospects: Who are the Future Stars?

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Mikko Rantanen, Right Wing

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mikko Rantanen poses with team executives after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Current team: TPS, Liiga (Finland Elite League)
Shoots: Left
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 212 pounds
Age: 18

When Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy talk about Mikko Rantanen, they get a sparkle in their eye. In fact, Sakic said he and Roy could hardly wait to get up to the NHL Draft podium to pick Rantanen — Roy said he couldn’t believe Rantanen was still available at #10.

Both Avalanche execs stated they intended to play it safe with Rantanen’s development. He’s attending Avalanche prospects development camp, and he’s slated to be at training camp as well. However, if he’s not ready, Sakic says Rantanen will return to Finland to continue developing.

Rantanen is a big center in the model of what Sakic and Roy wants.While it’s true he uses his size to effect, he’s a nimble skater and so very talented at making plays. And he’s already been playing in the big boy league in Europe, Finland’s Elite League.

However, there’s not doubt Sakic and Roy expect him to make the team — and sooner rather than later.