Colorado Avalanche: Top 4 Picks for the Number-4 Pick

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: General manager Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche (C) and general manager Ray Shero of the New Jersey Devils (R) talk on the draft floor during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: General manager Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche (C) and general manager Ray Shero of the New Jersey Devils (R) talk on the draft floor during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche are going to get some good players at the 2019 NHL Draft. They have a lot of options at the #4 position.

The Colorado Avalanche have the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Senators finished dead-last in the NHL this last season, but they/we lost the Draft Lottery. We’ll be selecting number four.

Fourth-overall is a very good pick, and extremely fortuitous for a team that went all the way to Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs. They’ve already got a decent prospect pool, and they can make it even deeper with this fourth-overall.

Who to choose, though? We already know Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko will be gone by the time GM Joe Sakic takes the podium to announce his selection. The name Sakic calls will depend on who the #3 team, the Chicago Blackhawks, take.

Do I think the Blackhawks are going to screw us over like the Dallas Stars did two years ago? Yes. They will take the player Joe most wants just like Dallas did. The Stars got Miro Heiskenan, and that’s worked out fine for them. Naturally, we’re pretty pleased with who we got, too.

Anyway, let’s look at the top four prospects for the Colorado Avalanche to choose. Hey, worst case scenario — at least three of these players will still be available at the #4 position.

1. Bowen Byram

2018-19 Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Date of Birth: June 13, 2001 (17 years old)
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 194 lbs.
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left

Ranked #5 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #6 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #3 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #4 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #2 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #4 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #6 by TSN/McKenzie

Bowen Byram is scouted as a gifted defenseman, an offensive defenseman who’s put up big numbers in major juniors. Yet he can play a two-way game because he’s not afraid to play a physical game — I’ve watched highlights of him, and the kid likes to hit.

Physicality aside, because that’s just icing on the cake, Byram is the new style of defenseman. He can skate so well, and he has a good hockey IQ. Indeed, Colorado Avalanche amateur scout Alan Hepple spoke with The Athletic and had this to say about Byram:

"“He’s the new-age defenseman. He’s a puck guy. He’s smart. He’s got hockey sense. He’s got everything. He skates. He’s got some bite to his game. He’s 6-feet, 6-foot-1 guy. He led the Western League in scoring for the playoffs. He’s that new-age, puck-moving, puck-managing smart defenseman. Stuff that we like and he’s going to fit into the NHL really well.”"

Even though the Colorado Avalanche are pretty set on defense for the time being, I think Bowen Byram is their number-one choice for the fourth-overall pick.

Related Story. Bowen Byram Draft Profile. light

2. Kirby Dach

2018-19 Team: Saskatoon Blades, WHL
Date of Birth: Jan 21, 2001 (18 years old)
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 198 lbs.
Position: Center
Shoots: Right

Ranked #7 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #4 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #7 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #3 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #3 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #7 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #4 by TSN/McKenzie

Center Kirby Dach is the popular choice for the Colorado Avalanche’s #4 selection. He certainly does fall right within Colorado’s range for most rankings.

Dach scouts as a big, skilled player. He’s a playmaker and also a play finisher. He’s not overly speedy, but such a tall player is going to have long strides — he’s not going to be left behind.

Alan Hepple liked what he saw:

"“He’s one of those guys with size and skill. He’s got great vision. That’s the one thing that stands out the most that you don’t find too much now with a big, skilled guy like him. He’ll get stronger and bigger and he’ll be a horse. Nobody will be able to get that puck off him once he matures and gets that man strength and things like that. He’s got a whole lot of upside.”"

I think if the Hawks pull a Stars and steal our preferred defenseman out from under us, Kirby Dach’s is the name Joe Sakic will call.

Related Story. Kirby Dach Draft Profile. light

3. Alex Turcotte

2018-19 Team: US National U-18 Team, USDP
Date of Birth: Feb 26, 2001 (18 years old)
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 185 lbs.
Position: Center
Shoots: Left

Ranked #4 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #9 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #6 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #9 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #4 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #6 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #11 by TSN/McKenzie

For some reason, center Alex Turcotte is a favorite amongst Avs fans, at least the ones on Twitter, BSN and The Athletic. I like that he’s scouted as a two-way player with a good arsenal of offensive tricks.

Turcotte was hurt for a lot of last season. He played just 53 games — most USNDT players skate in north of 80 games. For that reason, Alex was scouted as a “late riser,” which is what Hepple focused on in his assessment:

"“He’s a very good player. He’s tenacious on the puck. He’s got skill. He skates. He’s a great kid. It’s more that than him coming on as a good player. We knew he was a good player. It was just the lack of coverage.”"

Somehow I don’t feel the Colorado Avalanche are ranking him as highly as some of the other prospects — specifically the two above him on this list.

light. Related Story. Alex Turcotte Draft Profile

4. Cole Caufield

2018-19 Team: USNDT/USHL
Date of Birth: Jan 2, 2001 (18 years old)
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 163 lbs.
Position: Center/right wing
Shoots: Right

More from Draft

Ranked #11 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #12 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #9 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #13 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #8 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #13 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #18 by TSN/McKenzie

Forward Cole Caufield is the true late riser of this list. As you see by the above rankings, he wasn’t scouted near the #4 pick. However, Craig Buttons of TSN recently ranked Caufield at #4.

Part of the issue many scouts have with Caufield is his size — he’s diminutive, to be sure. You certainly can’t argue with his production — 100 points (72 goals, 28 assists) in 64 games with the U18 Team “A” and an additional 41 points (29 goals, 12 assists) with the juniors squad. All this season — 141 points, 101 of them goals.

Hepple had good things to say about Caufield:

"“This kid’s bigger than you think. He’s built a little bit and he’s got some big legs…The size nowadays, like I said, with all these guys who are playing it does not surprise me that people are talking about this kid with where he is ranked.”"

I hesitate to see him go at the #4 position, but I’m not a gambling gal. The Colorado Avalanche, though? They love to find that diamond in the rough. Almost every single draft has seen them pick outside the consensus ranking. They could well take a chance on Caufield.

Related Story. Cole Caufield Draft Profile. light

The Colorado Avalanche have a total of eight selections in the 2019 NHL Draft:

#4 (from Ottawa)
#16
#47
#62 (also from Ottawa)
#78
#140
#171
#202

The 2019 NHL Draft takes place on June 21 – 22 in Vancouver, B.C. While the time for the first round hasn’t been announced, last year it was at 5:30 pm MT.