2017 NHL Draft
If the Colorado Avalanche hadn’t finished dead last in the NHL last season, they would have had a better chance of winning the #1 or #3 draft pick. That’s not statistically true, but it’s how this year’s draft lottery played out.
If the Avs had finished #24 in the NHL, they’d have had the #3 draft pick. The #26 spot would have won them the first-overall.
Let’s not be greedy — let’s give Colorado the #3. Heck, they could have kept the #4 because Patrick Roy would have never selected Miro Heiskenan anyway — he just doesn’t believe in choosing defensemen so high.
You know who he would have chosen? Gabriel Vilardi, a statistical wizard who’s big and so-talented. He’s also a player who can transition into the NHL right away.
I won’t go too much farther into the draft with my speculation, but I daresay Roy wouldn’t have been able to pass on defenseman Nicolas Hague, who went #34. Hague is a gigantic 6-foot-6 left-hand shot who’s got excellent skating and skill.
Roy may have even traded a couple late round draft picks — say this year’s and next year’s seventh rounders — to move up. That would have let the Avs choose both Hague at #34 and another player — say center Isaac Ratcliffe — at their own position.
By the way, Patrick Roy would have never lost Calvin Pickard in the Expansion Draft. He liked Pickard’s “swagger.” He definitely would have exposed Semyon Varlamov, the Vegas Golden Knights would have chosen Andreas Martinsen (because Roy wouldn’t have traded his size for Sven Andrighetto‘s speed), and the Avs would still have their goalie tandem intact.
The alternate Patrick Roy reality would have been a better one. It wouldn’t have been perfect — the Colorado Avalanche have too many depth issues that still need to be addressed. However, the Avs’ 2016-17 season wouldn’t have been embarrassing.
I think we would see the Avs moving more strongly toward their future betterment in this reality, though. It’s not just that Roy has superior vision — we all know that I believe he does. It’s also the fact that the team wouldn’t have taken that 90-degree turn last summer.
Last year’s Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t have been hindered by players that no longer fit the mold because Roy would have been building toward the same mold. And maybe, just maybe, the Avs would have had a chance of making the playoffs next season, which they certainly don’t have in this reality.
Editor’s note: Congratulations, Avs Nation, on making it through the third post in my five-post Roypocalypse Remembrance/Roy was Right series. Though I have one more post to go, here is a fun video about dancing horses, as promised.