No. 11 Los Angeles Kings Select Eeli Tolvanen
The Kings will be happy with this pick just past the top ten because Tolvanen has some serious finishing ability as a forward. His shot is finely tuned, and he can snap it off from almost anywhere on the ice. He’ll be a great complement to Anze Kopitar somewhere down the line, as he will at least spend one season in the NCAA at Boston College.
No. 12 Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes Trade; Avs Select Cal Foote
I’m not sure when this trade will be announced, but it’s something that Joe Sakic needs to find a way to pull off. The trade will be as follows:
It may seem like a lot to give the ‘Canes, but to my estimation that is the only way this trade is fair. As far as I’m concerned, the Avs would be lucky to convince the Hurricanes that Matt Duchene for Jaccob Slavin straight-up is fair.
So, they convince them to do the deal and get their pick by throwing in Grigs and Bigras. It’s a lot to give up, considering they’re also giving up Duchene, but this is how you get a top-tier defenseman in this league, and Jaccob Slavin shows all the signs of being a top-tier defenseman.
Finally, the Avalanche also get to stock their defensive cupboard by picking up Cal Foote, something I have proposed as a necessity for quite some time. Cal Foote has all the makings of a premiere blueliner, and the Avs need to get as many of those types of defensemen as possible.
No. 13 Winnipeg Jets Select Martin Necas
The Winnipeg Jets are close to becoming a contender once more, and they draft a versatile forward in Martin Necas. He’s a right-hand shot who can play both center and right wing, and he adds some depth to an already deep forward group. The Jets will wait a bit for his development, but he’s already been playing against men in Czech’s pro league, so he’s not far off.
No. 14 Tampa Bay Lightning and Avalanche Trade; Avs Select Nick Suzuki
The Avalanche are in full rebuild, and Joe Sakic promises on his desire for a lot of turnover by making another trade for a first round pick. Here’s what the trade looks like:
Let me be clear. This is 1) wishful thinking, and 2) a huge sacrifice for the present. The Avalanche will suddenly be without one of their current top four defensemen, and will have to wait a bit until another one is ready.
However, I strongly believe that Nicolas Meloche is going to be a solid top-four blueliner soon, and fully capable of filling Barrie’s shoes. And, let’s not forget Cal Foote if they pull that trade off with the ‘Canes. Furthermore, by sacrificing the present, they set themselves up for the future.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the Lightning will be into this trade just because they lose a solid forward and their first round pick. However, they also get one of the premiere offensive defenseman in the league, the Avs’ second round pick and the rights to Will Butcher.
The Lightning aren’t far off from a Cup, and Barrie could put them over the cusp.
Finally, the Avs get to draft Nick Suzuki, which is something I am all about. He’s another right-hand shot, and will be a great addition to the Colorado Avalanche forward group in just a few year’s time. He’s skilled, he possesses great top-end speed and his shot is underrated.
No. 15 New York Islanders Select Elias Pettersson
Thanks to the Avs making some moves and selecting players that fit their need a bit more than Pettersson, the Islanders are gifted with a possible top-ten pick at No. 15 overall. Pettersson is a playmaker through and through, and one of the best passers available in the 2017 NHL Draft. He’s a bit light on muscle for his stature, but he’ll bulk up and be a great winger or center for the Islanders somewhere down the line.