Colorado Avalanche Could End up with 4th-Overall in the 2018 Draft

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 07: Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators, Matt Duchene #95, and Colin White #36 talk during the second period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on April 7, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 07: Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators, Matt Duchene #95, and Colin White #36 talk during the second period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on April 7, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Likelihood of the Colorado Avalanche Receiving the 4th-Overall

I think the likelihood of the Colorado Avalanche getting Ottawa’s first-rounder this year is on par with an expansion team making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in its inaugural year. Wait…

No, seriously, sports fans have to be eternal optimists. We have to believe every year that the next season will be different. Our team won’t finish last again, or won’t be eliminated in the first round, or won’t be eliminated by the same damn Pittsburgh Penguins again. We have to believe optimistically in order to preserve our sanity, such as it is.

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I think sport front offices have to be optimistic, too. They may not have as much blind optimism as fans, but they have to believe they’re making strides forward. Therefore, the Ottawa Senators decision-makers may think next year will be a little better — at least better than a fourth-overall season.

The Senators’ front offices should also be a little pragmatic. Unless they make the playoffs next season, they could still end up with the first-overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. Ask the New Jersey Devils, who leapfrogged three spots to earn the first-overall in 2017 — or the freaking Philadelphia Flyers, who leapfrogged TEN spots for the second-overall. Or, you know, the Avs who totally lost the Draft Lottery.

The only way you guarantee you don’t get the first-overall is by making the playoffs. Are next year’s Senators going to make the playoffs in that toxic environment and with Karlsson and/or Hoffman gone? Highly unlikely.

What’s more, there’s a way to mitigate the loss of this year’s fourth-overall — trade Karlsson and/or Hoffman and make a first-rounder part of the deal. That way, you still get a first-rounder in this year’s draft or two in next year’s draft.

Or trade Karlsson to Colorado with the rights to that draft pick being part of the deal. I’m feeling generous — you can have your third rounder from next season back, too.

If I’m Pierre Dorion — and I’m really glad I’m not right now — I start shopping both Karlsson and Hoffman right away. What can you get for one or the other? If you can get a nice selection of draft picks and prospects — say like what we got for Matt Duchene — then pull the trigger on that trade. Know you’re going into full tank next season with eyes set on Jack Hughes.

And give the Colorado Avalanche the fourth-overall in this year’s draft.

Next: Plan for Getting MacKinnon a Cup

Being a hockey GM is one big gamble. Like I said, I don’t think the Ottawa Senators are going to take that gamble this season. However, they have right up until the third-overall Montreal Canadiens make their selection, thus putting Ottawa on the clock to make their decision.

Here in Avs Nation, we’ll be on pins and needles up to that point.