Should Colorado Avalanche trade first-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft to acquire a big name?

The Colorado Avalanche are looking to figure out how they can improve as they seek a playoff berth. Should they pull the trigger on shipping out their 2024 first-round draft pick?

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round 2-7
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche will probably have a late first-round draft pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. As NHL Draft picks go, only some in the first round typically make an immediate impact on the team that drafted them. See: Connor Bednard and Leo Carlsson. With that being said, should Colorado explore trying to use their 2024 first-round selection to acquire a top name or two?

Colorado has five selections in this year’s draft (1 first, and one each through rounds 4-7). They acquired Arturri Lehkonen by trading their 2024 second-round pick, lost their third-round pick in the Darcy Kuemper trade, and lost a fifth-round pick to acquire Andrew Cogliano.

Ideally, the Colorado Avalanche will make the postseason this year. The 2023-24 NHL trade deadline is on Friday, March 8th, with the regular season ending on April 18th. The postseason will begin shortly after this date.

Colorado has been able to stay afloat in the central division and while nobody is screaming to trade a lot of pieces for future draft picks, they could ship off that first-rounder for different players. They could try and acquire a big goal-scorer to help them gain and keep leads. Lately, the Avalanche have been having a lot of trouble keeping control of the puck, and also getting the puck out of their own zone. Even guys like Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon have appeared to struggle at times lately. It’s very uncharacteristic. It’s bizarre.

The Avs signed Zach Parise earlier this season, and while he hasn’t been bad for them (he’s shown he can keep up with the young guys), he said that this will be the final year of his long NHL career. A hole will be created after this season with his upcoming retirement.

On the defensive side, it would not surprise me if Jack Johnson is either headed towards retirement or the team moves off of him as his one-year contract expires. He’s 37 years old. The Avalanche’s defensive struggles have been pretty obvious, leaving the team’s goaltender(s) out to dry at times. It’s felt like a complete mess.

It might take a lot to acquire a quality goaltender via trade, as evidenced by the failure to make a trade for Jake Allen work recently. My thinking is that if the Avalanche’s first-round draft pick is a late-first, you do your best to make a trade happen for a goaltender and/or a big-name defenseman.

Something needs to change as the Avs look to get back to the Stanley Cup finals.