Colorado Avalanche Mock Draft 1.0: Planning for an uncertain future

Who could the Colorado Avalanche draft in the 2024 NHL Draft? Here is a mock draft, with goal scorers and big defensemen.
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The Colorado Avalanche own seven picks in the 2024 NHL Draft, their first coming in at 24th overall. It’s possible that they decide to trade that pick away for a player who is fully ready now—someone who has been in the league for a number of years—but with their current salary cap restraints, that doesn’t seem likely.

They definitely want to plan for now, with their championship window still open. Although, who knows if it is anywhere close to closing. Probably not, but you never know. A lot can happen in such a short period of time. Can they overcome a few months of missing Valeri Nichushkin? Can Gabriel Landeskog make a return in 2024-25? Those are just two—mind you, the most important two—questions they have to have answered.

I’m of the mindset that they should prepare as if neither player is going to make a return anytime soon. Unfortunately, that’s a reality they have to face and with very minimal cap space.

The Avalanche can add some quality players this weekend, so let’s take a look at a possible scenario for them.

1st Round: Pick 24, RW Matvei Gridin

Matvei Gridin is a player that could possibly fill in for Valeri Nichushkin or on a lower line (pending a line change that sees an already-developed player bumped up). The 6-foot-1, 185 lb Russian had 46 goals and 56 assists in 100 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL over the last two seasons.

His hockey IQ appears to be out of this world, as he’s said to be where he’s meant to be more times than not. Playing a fast mental game is very important in the NHL, and that’s something the Colorado Avalanche would love to have not only in the offensive zone but in the defensive area as well.

He is also said to be a pass-first type of forward, which isn’t the most ideal, but it can still be beneficial with a team like the Avalanche, who have other playmakers across all of their lines. It doesn’t concern me that much, especially because in the NHL, there is time to grow.