Colorado Avalanche Could Trade 1st Overall with Las Vegas

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Colorado Avalanche secure the first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, they could trade it to the Las Vegas Golden Knights for a good return.

The Colorado Avalanche have a lot of options if they win the first-overall draft pick in the NHL lottery, including, you know, draft Nolan Patrick. Recently the Sin Bin wrote about wanting Nolan Patrick for their team and whether they’d be willing to trade up to secure the forward.

Now, the Colorado Avalanche have a 17.936% chance of winning the first-overall pick. (In ten times running the Tankathon simulator, I got the Avs for the first-overall just twice while they weirdly got fourth-overall four times. Please, no.)

Last month, the Las Vegas Golden Knights signed their first-ever NHL player, Reid Duke. Duke was drafted by the Minnesota Wild, didn’t sign a contract with them, re-entered the 2016 draft and didn’t get drafted. He currently plays for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

If you’ve read my post about Nolan Patrick (see below), you’ll note that he also plays for the Brandon Wheat Kings. What’s more, the two have good chemistry together. Maybe not quite a Nathan MacKinnonJonathan Drouin chemistry, but still good.

That’s why the Vegas Knights want Patrick so badly.

Nolan Patrick, though not as strong a front-runner as previous first-overalls (notably Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid), is a very good player. He’s scouted to go first-overall in the 2017 NHL Draft.

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If the Colorado Avalanche win the first-overall pick, there’s a part of me that wants to see them trade it. And now it seems like the Las Vegas Golden Knights might be a good partner.

I discussed with Sin Bin what a trade could look like. The first offer was expansion exemption. That means the Colorado Avalanche could dictate which player the Knights take.

Oh, the possibilities! They could unload Blake Comeau ($2.4 million through 2018) or Francois Beauchemin ($4.5 million through 2018). However, the worst contract is Carl Soderberg‘s — $4.75 million through 2020.

This trade only makes sense if the Colorado Avalanche are confident they can compel Soderberg to waive his No Trade Clause.

Even so, that seems like small compensation for an entire first-overall pick. So, Sin Bin offered that would be the extent of the trade if they win the second-overall pick. Getting rid of Soderberg and still acquiring Nico Hischier would be a pretty good move by GM Joe Sakic.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have the same odds of winning the first-overall — 10.321% — as the third-worst Arizona Coyotes. They are also guaranteed they will fall no lower than sixth-overall. However, they could wind up with the sixth-overall.

If the Vegas Knights end up with picks three through six, the pot needs some sweetening. Here’s what Sin Bin offered:

"Colorado Avalanche get the expansion draft exemption, the Knights’ first-round pick (as low as #6) and either a 2017 third rounder or a 2018 conditional second rounder. The Knights get the 2017 first-overall."

That’s not a bad haul. The Colorado Avalanche potentially get to get rid of Soderberg’s contract, a very good first-round player and a prospect. For Nolan Patrick.


Nolan Patrick is a great player. But he’s no Connor McDavid. He’s no Auston Matthews. According to USA Today, he’s not even a Jack Eichel (#2 in 2015) or Patrick Laine (#2 in 2016).

So, since the Colorado Avalanche didn’t tank in a year that a generational talent was available in the draft, wouldn’t it make sense to get other aspects (unloading contracts, increasing the prospect pool) of the rebuild sorted out by trading their first-overall?