Colorado Avalanche Draft: Advice for Rounds 2 through 7

DENVER, CO - JUNE 26: Colorado Avalanche announce the 2017 NHL draft picks on June 26, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Pepsi Center. Left to right are Nick Leivermann, Denis Smirnov, Conor Timmins, Alan Hepple, Colorado Avalanche Director of Scouting, first round pick Cale Makar and Nick Henry. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 26: Colorado Avalanche announce the 2017 NHL draft picks on June 26, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Pepsi Center. Left to right are Nick Leivermann, Denis Smirnov, Conor Timmins, Alan Hepple, Colorado Avalanche Director of Scouting, first round pick Cale Makar and Nick Henry. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche still have some opportunities to draft good players with their remaining selections. Here’s a little advice on what they should do.

The Colorado Avalanche are sitting pretty draft-wise right now. They got the player they wanted with the #16 pick, Martin Kaut. And they weren’t even penalized for being late to the podium to make their selection — there had been a miscommunication that left the Avs sitting at their draft table while everyone waited.

In any case, Colorado made their selection, and the rest of the draft went off without much of a hitch. Going into today’s draft, which starts at 9 AM MT, the Avs still have six more picks — one in each round:

  • #58 (from Nashville)
  • #78
  • #109
  • #140
  • #171
  • #202

The Avalanche traded their own second rounder, #47, for goalie Philipp Grubauer. They also took on Brooks Orpik’s contract as part of the deal, though the plan is to either trade him or buy him out so he can hit free agency.

In any case, this year’s first round was wonky, starting already with the Montreal Canadiens selecting center Jesperi Kotkaniemi with their #3 pick — he was generally scouted to go a little lower. Joe Veleno fell to #30, and Bode Wilde fell out of the first round.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators continued to self-destruct by choosing a power forward, Brady Tkachuk –which doesn’t fit with their style — at #4, and a rando named Jacob Bernard-Docker at #26, who was slated to go mid-second round. No idea.

Anyway, the Colorado Avalanche still have some good players to choose from in the second round. Certainly by this point the team will continue to select players based on best available within the team’s need. So let’s see what that looks like.

Second Round

As noted, the Avs traded their own second rounder but still have a pick thanks to the Matt Duchene trade. Two of the players whom the team had on their radar haven’t been drafted yet — Serron Noel (right wing) and Bode Wilde (defenseman).

No telling if either of those players will still be available at #58. To be honest, it’s highly unlikely as they were both scouted to go in the first round, so I expect they’ll go early in the second.

The draft has been so wonky to this point that I hesitate to point out any players I’d especially like the Avs to take. It’s too up in the air to decide. However, judging by need, I’d prefer to see them take a forward — either a winger or a versatile center — with their late-round pick.

Third Round

You never know when a third-rounder is going to make it. For example, Colorado chose defenseman Tyson Barrie in the third round (64th overall) in 2009. And now Barrie is part of our defensive core.

Speaking of defensemen, I wouldn’t mind if the Avalanche chose their first one in this round, the #78. Last year they didn’t have a third-rounder. The previous year they chose center JC Beaudin.

Colorado is pretty decent at defense right now, but it wouldn’t hurt to bolster their depth with this pick.

Fourth Round

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Last year, the Colorado Avalanche had two fourth rounders, and they used them to pick up a right wing, Nick Henry, and a goalie, Petr Kvaca. Henry was scouted to go higher, and Kvaca is showing well. It’s thought he’ll be part of the Avs’ goalie depth in a year or two.

If the Avs haven’t chosen a defenseman yet, they should do so with the selection, the #109 pick. Otherwise, either forward or defense is fine at this selection.

What needs to happen is a little diversity. Martin Kaut has some decent size, but he’s still a skill player. By this round, Colorado should be looking at some grit.

Fifth Round

Last year the Colorado Avalanche used this pick on a center, Igor Shvyryov, whom the team has signed to a three-year entry-level contract. The previous year they drafted goalie Adam Werner.

Here’s where the team starts looking for a steal. They have the #140 pick. Let’s see what “best available” looks like in the fifth round.

Sixth Round

The Avalanche traded to acquire goalie Philipp Grubauer from the Washington Capitals. They have their top two goalies as well as Pavel Francouz learning the North American game.

They don’t have too much beyond that besides two European goalies — Adam Werner and Petr Kvaca — who are still playing in their European leagues.

If the Avs are going to increase their goalie depth, this is the round to do it in. Here are some favorable options:

Related Story: Late-Round Goalie Choices

Seventh Round

The seventh round is a crap shoot. Last year Colorado lucked out and got defenseman Nicky Leivermann, who was slated to go higher. The previous year wasn’t too bad either — left wing Travis Barron.

That said, not a lot of seventh-rounders see NHL time, much less make an impact. So, with the #202 pick, Colorado should shore up whatever position they didn’t draft a lot of so far.