Colorado Avalanche: Could a Wild Trade Impact the 2017 NHL Draft?

Apr 2, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) defends Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) defends Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Dallas Stars decide to trade their third-overall draft pick to the Minnesota Wild, it could impact the 2017 NHL Draft for the Colorado Avalanche.

The Colorado Avalanche lost the Draft Lottery, so they will select fourth-overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. The three teams who

screwed them over

beat them in the lottery are as follows:

  1. New Jersey Devils
  2. Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Dallas Stars

That means the Avalanche definitely will be unable to choose either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier, who are ranked to go first and second in the draft. From #3 until about #10, though, it’s up in air how the prospects rank, their talent level is that close. Therefore, it’s thought teams will draft best player available who fits their need.

So, the Devils and Flyers are going to snap up Patrick and Hischier. That means it’s the Stars who help determine who Colorado can pick.

Dallas Stars Offense

Right now they Dallas Stars have a pretty high-octane offense with 25-year-old center Tyler Seguin (26 goals, 46 assists) and 27-year-old left wing Jamie Benn (26 goals, 43 assists) leading the way. Not only are those two players putting up impressive numbers, they’re just in the peaks of their careers.

From there, you have another great center in Jason Spezza (15 goals, 35 assists), who’s entered veteran status at 33. But you’ve got young center Cody Eakin (26 years old), Devin Shore (22 years old), Mattias Janmark (24 years old) and Radek Faksa (23 years old). Left wing Antoine Roussel, 27 years old, rounds out the youth movement in the Stars’ offense.

Dallas Stars Need

colorado avalanche
Oct 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) and goalie Calvin Pickard (31) defend against Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars have a lot of needs on defense. They have 24-year-old John Klingberg, who was the Stars #4 for offense last season (13 goals, 36 assists). The 6-foot-2 right hand shot offensive defenseman is a smooth skater who’s good with the puck. He’s got a great shot from the point, which makes him an asset, especially on the power play.

After that the Dallas Stars got a whole lot of nothing. Literally, they make the Colorado Avalanche look downright deep on defense because at least we’ve got Erik Johnson as the cornerstone, Tyson Barrie as the rover and Nikita Zadorov as Big Z the Destroyer.

Dallas has the aging Dan HamHuis (34 years old) and a clutch of youngsters and prospects. No, really, there’s journeymen defense, there’s what the Colorado Avalanche made do with in 2013-14 and there’s what the Stars have now.

In other words, the Dallas Stars need help on defense. But their needs are now.

Indeed, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that Dallas GM Jim Nill is willing to trade that fourth-overall for a defenseman “who makes a difference.”

Minnesota Wild

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Recently Vincent Trombley of The Hockey Writers proposed that his team, the Minnesota Wild, could trade for that third-overall pick. The Wild, you see, traded their first-round pick for center Martin Hanzal. They traded their second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Chris Stewart. So, Minnesota has to wait until the third round to make any selections this year.

Trombley seems to think the Wild have a difference-making defenseman they’d be willing to trade for the third-overall pick.

He proposed 27-year old Marco Scandella who has a career 27 goals and 62 assists in 373 games. The 6-foot-3 defenseman has size and skill.

Trombley also proposed Jonas Brodin, a 23-year-old with 18 goals and 61 assists in 331 games. The 6-foot-1 blueliner plays a solid stay-at-home game. He’s great on the penalty kill.

Another option is 22-year-old Matt Dumba with his 30 goals and 48 assists in 228 career games. The 6-foot defenseman is both speedy and tough. Dumba is the guy I’d guess Dallas would be willing to trade a third-overall draft pick for, though they might want a little more.

The 2017 NHL Draft

Now, if the Dallas Stars don’t manage to trade their third-overall for a difference-making defenseman, they may choose one in the 2017 NHL Draft. Miro Heiskanen is the highest-rated defenseman in this draft.

Related Story: Miro Heiskanen a Tallented 2-Way D-Man

He’s scouted as an elite two-way defenseman with creativity and great skating ability. He’s a solid puck-mover yet responsible in his own end. It’s my guess that Dallas picks Heiskenan third-overall.

And if Dallas selects Heiskenan, Colorado can’t. Granted, I don’t think the Avalanche will select Heiskenan with their fourth-overall, but it would be nice if they had the option.

On the flip side, the Minnesota Wild obviously don’t have as much need on defense. Instead, they’d be looking for a forward, which is generally the Colorado Avalanche’s preference for the first round.

Trombley thinks the Wild would choose either Casey Mittelstadt or Gabriel Vilardi.

Now, as I’ve stated before, I’m not really keen on Mittelstadt for Colorado. He’s a great player, but he played under his level last season and is already promised to play for the University of Minnesota next season. So, if Minnesota chose him, that would be fine with me.

However, Vilardi is my preference for the fourth-overall selection.

Related Story: Gabe Vilardi a Statistic Wizard

Gabriel Vilardi is a big, two-way center with elite puck skills and great skating. He plays a 200-foot game and is known for making his teammates better. He’s scouted to go #3 or #4.

Dallas is lousy with centers. Plus, with who they have up front already, I could see them wanting to pick up some speed, perhaps in Cody Glass or Owen Tippett. That’s if they don’t take a flyer on defenseman Miro Heiskanen.

Next: Ranking the Top Picks for 4th Overall

Minnesota picking Mittelstadt third-overall is fine. The Wild snatching up Vilardi, though — I don’t like it. I don’t like Minnesota making it to the second round of the playoffs and choosing ahead of the Colorado Avalanche anyway. But I especially don’t like them choosing Vilardi.

Now, on the other hand. if they wanted to trade Matt Dumba to the Colorado Avalanche for the fourth-overall… well, that’s an intriguing enough prospect that I think I’ll give it its own post.