Colorado Avalanche: Draft Lottery Over, Tenth Pick Looms

4 of 6

Embed from Getty Images

All-Around Center

Clayton Keller

Height: 5 foot 10

Weight: 170 pounds

Age: 17

Shoots: Left

Keller played in the USDP, (United States Development Program) the same league that projected first overall pick Auston Matthews played in during the 2014-15 season.

He had 107 points in 62 games this season, and has already committed to play for Boston University next season.

Here’s what Steve Kournianos, a writer for Draft Analyst had to say about Keller:

"Keller is a strong, shifty skater with a powerful shot, displaying brilliance and hockey sense strikingly similar to what Marner brings to the ice. And while Marner is a winger, Keller is equally adept at bringing you out of your seat while leaving amazed opponents on the very edge of theirs. He’s schooled amateurs of all ages — U.S. college seniors, European stars, NHL-bound Canadian juniors; it doesn’t matter. He’s a hard-nosed, fearless player with a lot of flash, but he’s been Team USA’s leader and go-to option for every critical situation – defensive zone draws, killing penalties gaining entry into the offensive zone, etc. Does he have franchise potential? We’ll let you judge for yourself, but keep in mind he’s nearly produced as much as Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews did with the NTDP. Keller is also nearly a year younger than Matthews, who set the NTDP scoring record a year ago with 117 points. If Keller keeps his current pace for the rest of the season and through the 2016 U18 tournament, he’ll come close to matching him."

Most of the rankings have him going near the tenth overall pick with some as early as 9th overall, and some as late as 14th overall. That puts him in range for the Avs this summer, but I don’t think he’s what the Avalanche need.

I do think that a forward will be the focus of their pick, but they probably don’t need any more centers unless they do end up trading Matt Duchene this summer.

Even if that happens, Keller is not the type of player that the Avalanche should be looking for at center because he is not as defensively oriented as they need their forwards to be right now.

More From Mile High Sticking: Ducks Free Agents Avs Should Look Into

He’s an elite offensive talent, but he’s on the smaller end of forwards, and the Avalanche will probably keep looking for size in the draft this summer, as they did last summer.

So, now time for my favorite pick if the Avalanche choose to stay at the tenth overall pick this summer.

Next: Logan Brown