Final Blueprint for the Colorado Avalanche Rebuild
The Colorado Avalanche are at least a couple years out from playoff contention — we just have to accept that. However, they can save themselves from being irrelevant if they start rebuilding with vision.
First of all, this draft is one of the most important in team history — probably even more important than when they selected Nathan MacKinnon first-overall in 2013. It’s not a franchise-making draft, but it’s a team-building one for the Avs.
To have a successful draft, the Avalanche need to pick up a two-way player in the first round and and offensive (or at least two-way) defenseman in the second round. The rest of their picks should be spent on best-available players who fit their speedy, skilled mold. They may consider picking up a goalie, too, if a favorable situation presents itself.
Colorado also needs to cut as much of the fat from the current roster as possible, meaning Patrick Wiercioch and Mikhail Grigorenko. When it’s not possible, unsuitable players must be relegated to the fringes.
To be successful in free agency, Colorado should consider picking up a depth two-way forward and a decent offensive or two-way defenseman. Neither should be over the age of 27.
Finally, if they’re going to trade a core player — specifically Matt Duchene — the return has to be sweet. Joe Sakic has to get a handful of building blocks for the foundation of the team. Either a stud defenseman and a prospect/draft pick or an NHL-ready defensman, a prospect or two, and a draft pick. He’s been aiming for the stars, and that has to keep being the case.
It’s frustrating and a little sad to see the once-might Colorado Avalanche relegated to irrelevancy. I imagine Edmonton Oilers fans felt the same. Colorado has it in them to return the team to contention with at least the majority of the current core intact. They simply have to do nothing but rebuild strictly to their blueprint.