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 25 Through 31

player. 95. . Defense. Moose Jaw. Jett Woo. 26

Defenseman Jett Woo appears to be a sleeper pick. He was plagued with injuries last season, so he didn’t get to show as much of his potential in his draft year. He looks to play a skilled, all-around game. With the Rangers in rebuild mode, they’d like a piece like this for their foundation.

Note: This pick is from a trade the Rangers made with Boston.

Ty Dellandrea. 27. player. 94. . Center. Flint

The Chicago Blackhawks will have already picked up Kotkaniemi in this draft scenario, but I think they’ll still be looking for scoring help. Ty Dellandrea played on a bad team last season, but he’s an electric player who plays a responsible two-way game.

Note: This pick is from a trade the Blackhawks made with Nashville.

USN-U-18. Mattias Samuelsson. 28. player. 95. . Defense

The Rangers have an impressive three picks in the first round. With this one, I think they’ll go for some size to shore up their defense. Described as a “very large man child who is still growing,” Samuelsson could be a pretty versatile depth defenseman in the future.

Note: This pick is from a trade the Rangers made with Tampa Bay.

. Center. Mississauga . Ryan McLeod. 29. player. 99

The St. Louis Blues may need some scoring help moving forward, and they’r going to want someone to contribute sooner rather than later. McLeod plays the aggressive, gritty style St. Louis favors. He’s also a good skaters and strong on the faceoffs, which they lost when they traded Paul Stastny.

Note: This pick is from the trade the Blues made with Winnipeg.

Offensive defenseman Jared McIsaac is projected to go a little higher than #30. But if the draft plays out that he’s still available at #30, the Wings are sure to pick him up. He’s a good skater who, for being an offensive defenseman, plays well in his own end.

Note: This pick is from a trade the Wings made with Vegas.

. Defense. Red Deer. Alexander Alexeyev. 31. player. 19

I’m not saying the Capitals favor big Russians, but they certainly have no reason to dis-favor them. Alexeyev has the power skating and aggressive stick skills typical of Russian players. What’s more, he’s played the last two seasons in the WHL, so he’s already used to the North American game.

Next: 3 Winger Choices

That concludes the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, in mock form anyway. The real draft takes place June 22 at 5:30 PM MT in Dallas.