Colorado Avalanche: 2018 NHL Mock Draft of the First Round

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: General manager Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche listens to president of hockey operations Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks on the draft floor during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: General manager Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche listens to president of hockey operations Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks on the draft floor during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Picks 21 Through 25

Akil Thomas. 21. player. 120. . Center. Niagara

The San Jose Sharks, who were the middlemen, just turned Mikkel Boedker (and a prospect/draft pick) into a defensive prospect and four draft picks via the Mike Hoffman trade. They might pull off a little magic again if they draft center Akil Thomas at the #21 spot. The speedy stick handling wiz would be a good complement to San Jose’s aging core.

USNTDP. Rasmus Sandin. 22. player. 91. . Defense

I don’t know that Ottawa has used the r-word yet (rebuild), but they’re a team that needs to bolster all aspects of their game. Rasmus Sandin is a gifted, two-way player who shows well in all three zones. He’s certainly not going to replace Erik Karlsson, if the team goes in that direction, but he can help soften the blow.

Note: This pick is from a trade the Senators made with Pittsburgh.

Rasmus Kupari. 23. player. 105. . Left Wing. Oulu Karpat

The Anaheim Ducks might be looking to turn over a new leaf from the big, heavy style they’ve been playing for years. But if the big, aggressive Finnish winger, Rasmus Kupari, is still available at #23, I think they’re going to snap him up. He’s a creative speedster who’s aggressive on the forecheck — he’d be a good complement to the team.

98. . Defense. USNTDP. Bode Wilde. 24. player

GM Paul Fenton and the rest of the Minnesota Wild are out enjoying happy hour and miss making their pick completely, thus forfeiting their first rounder.

Failing that ideal situation, I think Bode Wilde is just… weird enough for them. Born in Quebec, but enjoys dual citizenship. Plays in the USNTDP. Committed then de-committed to the University of Michigan. Plus, he’s an exciting defenseman who can take over when Ryan Suter’s contract finally expires in 20 years.

Also, you know, his last name is Wilde, so playing for the Wild would be funny… Finally, a countable Wilde!

Isac Lundestrom is a smart center who plays smart hockey. This year’s draft isn’t great for centers, But Lundestrom is one of the better options. He’s very versatile in all forward positions and on both special teams situations. Toronto would like such a building block in their system.