Colorado Avalanche Should Solicit Edmonton’s Draft Pick


The Colorado Avalanche should make a play for the Edmonton Oilers’ fourth-overall draft pick, which is up for grabs at the right price.

The Colorado Avalanche have the #10 pick at the 2016 NHL Draft. That worked out pretty well for them last year when they used it to select right wing Mikko Rantanen, who tore it up at the AHL level last season and is sure to make a splash in the NHL soon.

There are plenty of really good prospects who could still be available at #10, such as Logan Brown or Julian Gauthier. However, the Colorado Avalanche would be assured of their prime choice if they had the #4 pick.

As it turns out, the #4 pick could be available — for the right price, of course.

The Edmonton Oilers’ GM, Peter Chiarelli, spoke on the Oilers Now radio show on 630 CHED. Edmonton has the fourth-overall pick, and Chiarelli is open to trading it:

I have no idea if Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was one of those “four or five teams” that’s already called Chiarelli. However, it’s compelling to think how such a trade could come about.

Apparently Edmonton is perplexed at having to select lower than, you know, first overall. Indeed, the Oilers have selected within the top three in five of the last six seasons — and four of those were first-overall. (Leon Draisaitl was third-overall. Otherwise, Edmonton got Connor McDavid, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.)

In other words, cry me a river, right?

In any case, according to The Score, Chiarelli is looking to get creative in how he manages that #4 pick. During a different segment on CHED, he described a desire for the Oilers to “get bigger or to get a D and get something else.”

So here’s where we see what the Colorado Avalanche might get with a fourth-overall instead of a tenth-overall draft pick and what it might be worth to them.

Potential Fourth-Overall Draft Picks

Naturally, we already know who’s going to go first-overall in the 2016 NHL Draft — Auston Matthews. Now, fellow Mile High Sticking writer Ross Sellers thinks the next two will be Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, both right wings playing in Finland. If that’s true, the top North American skaters, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Matthew Tkachuk, would still be available. They’re left wings.

However the top three play out, at least two of those players will still be available at fourth-overall, and they’re all fantastic players.

Dubois is a bruising winger at 6-foot-3, 203 pounds. He’s a gifted power forward with a solid two-way game. He also has explosive skating — he’s a future Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings.

Matthew Tkachuk has an impressive hockey pedigree that includes having longtime Western Conference rival Keith Tkachuk as a father. Matthew is a good-sized 6-foot-1, 194 pounds, both of which will likely increase. He’s a gritty player with a nasty streak but also a strong ability to score.

Of course, Patrik Laine makes Tkachuk look smallish — 6-foot-4, 209 pounds. With that comes a wicked shot made all the more deadly by his scoring instinct. What’s more, his compete level is very high.

Jessi Puljujärvi is another big boy at 6-foot-3, 201 pounds. He’s a speedy juggernaut with the heart of a power forward. He plays all three zones and is renowned for his positive attitude.

To a man, every single prospect would fit the Colorado Avalanche’s mold of players: big, gritty, speedy with a two-way game and strong character.

Colorado Avalanche Potential Trade

Now, Chiarelli was clear in what he wanted — a current NHLer, possibly with size and/or possibly a top-four defenseman.

For once, Matt Duchene and his 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame probably aren’t prime trade bait. Nathan MacKinnon would be lusted over, but he’s as close to an untouchable as the current Colorado Avalanche roster has.

There’s last year’s 10th-overall pick, Mikko Rantanen, but he’s not exactly a proven NHL player yet. Colorado would have to throw a pick in most likely.

And then there’s the Avalanche captain, Gabriel Landeskog —  6-foot-1, 210 pounds, young and gritty. That might do it for Edmonton. Would Colorado be willing to give him up for a high draft pick? They just might, especially if shaking up the locker room is a concern.

More about Trading Gabe: Is Landeskog on the Trade Block?

If Edmonton wants to focus on defensemen, Colorado has a few options there. While not untouchable, Erik Johnson is highly unlikely to go for a high draft pick. An unsigned Tyson Barrie is definitely a possibility — his contract may get sticky.

Better bets would be Chris Bigras or, especially, Nikita Zadorov. I think Colorado would be willing to part with one of them for that fourth-overall draft pick.

The question is whether Edmonton would insist on taking Colorado’s tenth-overall draft pick with one of those players. Losing a proven NHL talent and that #10 pick would not be worth it to the Avalanche. If, however, Sakic could somehow retain that #10… it almost would be worth sending over Barrie or even Landeskog.

I would hate sending over Landeskog, but it would solve a few problems. Players such as Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson could take on more leadership. Plus, having both the #4 and the #10 would allow Colorado to select both a top-end forward as well as a great defensive prospect.

I wouldn’t give up Landeskog or Zadorov with that #10 pick, though, and I’d think twice about Bigras or an unsigned Barrie and #10.

Next: Avs Should Consider Islanders' UFAs

I’m admittedly bad at trade value — guess I should mark NHL GM off my list of dream jobs. What, if anything, do you think would be a valuable trade for the Colorado Avalanche to secure the Edmonton Oilers’ #4 draft pick?