Colorado Avalanche Should Pick Nico Hischier in Upcoming Draft

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Most of the talk about this year’s draft involves Nolan Patrick, but the Colorado Avalanche should draft Nico Hischier instead if they get the No. 1 overall pick.

Drafting a quality player in this year’s draft is going to be important for the future of the Colorado Avalanche, which is why they need to select Nico Hischier if they end up with the No. 1 pick.

Don’t get me wrong, Nolan Patrick is an amazing player, and he’s going to make some team real happy, but Hischier has a higher ceiling.

In a draft that supposedly doesn’t possess any game-changing talent, it’s important for the Avs to try and find it. Nico Hischier has that talent.

On a side note, if Patrick Roy were still the coach, Hischier would almost definitely be their pick just because he plays in the QMJHL. He actually plays for the Halifax Mooseheads, the team that Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin played on together.

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But, back to the topic at hand. Really, it’s no guarantee that the Avs will draft first overall, but they very likely have the best odds to do so. And, if they do end up winning the lottery, then they’ll have to decide between Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier.

And, that should be a no-brainer at this point, they have to draft Nico Hischier.

Why Draft Nico Hischier?

Hischier is a more dynamic player than Nolan Patrick. Simple as that. He has the ability to take games over, and man can he score. This is only his first season on North American ice too, and he has quickly adjusted to the smaller surface.

Meanwhile, Nolan Patrick is in his third year in the WHL, and he’s played on North American ice his entire life.

Basically, Hischier can develop even more, whereas Nolan Patrick might be nearing his developmental ceiling. Hischier is much like Mikhail Sergachev from last year’s draft who played one season on North American ice before being drafted. Sergachev is clearly the top defensive prospect from last year’s draft, even though Olli Juolevi was drafted before him.

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And, ever since the World Juniors, Hischier has been gaining steam in the top prospects world. He lead all draft eligible players at the World Juniors with four goals and seven points in just five games.

And since returning to the Mooseheads after the World Juniors, he has 14 goals and 28 points in just 14 games. In other words, he’s making a strong case to be drafted No. 1 overall. Here’s the director of central scouting talking about him:

It’s a two horse race, and it’s going to come down to both of them for the first pick obviously. If the Avs are smart, they’ll draft Nico Hischier, even if he does need a few years of development. His raw talent could help him develop into a superstar, whereas Patrick’s talent is pretty clear at this point.

Why the Avs Should Avoid Nolan Patrick

As I said, Nolan Patrick has a pretty clear developmental path. He’s already 6 foot 3 and 200 pounds, so he’s got the size to play in the NHL.

He’s been playing in the WHL for three years already, and will be 19 in September, before the NHL season even starts. In other words, he’s a bit older and has already established himself and his talent. So, the Avs wouldn’t be taking a risk on him, that’s for sure, but his ceiling might already be established.

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Nonetheless, Patrick has put up some good numbers since returning from injury, but that might be another reason the Avs should stay away from him.

A sports hernia is not the best kind of injury for an athlete to have. It generally impacts areas of the core, and the groin. We’ve all seen the detrimental impact of Semyon Varlamov’s groin. And then there’s this from Jeff Marek at Sportsnet:

"His body of work is such that even if he didn’t play a single game for the rest of the season he’d still go first overall. That is, as long as the injury isn’t something that will plague him his entire career, and many don’t believe it will."

“Many don’t believe it will” does not sound that encouraging. Don’t you want that to be a certainty, especially if he had to miss 35 games because of the injury?

I’m just not as convinced as the rest of the world seems to be that Nolan Patrick is the consensus No. 1 overall pick.

Luckily, there are some people in the world who seem to be agreeing with me. As the NHL central scouting director noted, it is indeed a two horse race for the No.1 pick. Hischier is heating up at the right time, and the Avs should be taking note.


It’s no guarantee that the Avs will draft No. 1 overall, and even if they don’t, they might be able to still draft Hischier.

However, if things get beyond the top two picks for the Avs, and they end up with their worst possible pick at No. 4, then Timothy Liljegren needs to be their guy. In that case though, the Las Vegas Golden Knights are likely to get a higher pick and what better way to start your franchise than with a franchise defenseman?

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The Avs need defense just as bad as they need offense, and they don’t really need another center. However, Hischier could conceivably play the left side, and make an impact there.

Anyway, the Avs might need to give him at least one year of development in juniors if they drafted him. He could use a few more pounds, and some more physicality to his game.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the Avs do during this year’s draft. They’re going to have a high pick, they’re likely to make some trades and the Avs are likely to acquire at least a few more early round draft picks at the deadline.

Buckle up folks, the ride might get bumpy with only nine days remaining until the trade deadline.