Will the Colorado Avalanche trade their 2024 NHL Draft first-round pick?

Could the Colorado Avalanche trade their first-round pick? It sounds like a decent idea considering the current state of the team.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche hold the 24th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. We have discussed a couple of forwards and defensemen the team could select with that pick. While that’s still on the table, could the team trade that selection?

It was not very long ago that we were talking about how thin the Avalanche’s prospect pool was. That actually ended up changing pretty quickly with several players the team hopes can make an impact for them in upcoming years, including Calum Ritchie, just to name one. Sam Malinski is another player who I personally expect to make an impact in 2024-25.

The uncertainties surrounding the Colorado Avalanche remain. They have holes that they need to fill now. I posed this question recently: What’s going to happen with Valeri Nichushkin? How about Gabriel Landeskog? Nobody knows the final outcome of those two situations, and that’s a cause for concern.

The Avalanche are still close. Their window is not closed. It doesn’t feel like Landeskog is going to be ready (this is strictly just an assumption and gut feeling). Nichushkin won’t be eligible to return until November. Although we have been shown that that’s not too late, the Avalanche still have to think about their long-term plans.

Here’s an idea, perhaps. Could the Avalanche trade their first-round pick and Valeri Nichushkin for a center? I think that maybe they would consider it. There are probably some cheap reliable options on the trade block at the center position and the Avalanche could absolutely use someone up front on their second line. They could send Casey Mittelstadt down to the third line once he is re-signed (he’s a restricted free agent).

The elephant in the room is obviously shipping Nichushkin out the door. While we all hope that he figures out his personal life first and foremost, I’ve seen the idea of Nichushkin being traded. The addition of the first-round pick in a potential trade is because the team taking Nichushkin would also be taking on his contract ($6,125,000 in each of the next six years).

I would not hate the idea of trading the first-round pick (plus whatever additions it takes) to trade for a player who has proven that he can play in the NHL. Not only that, but be an excellent addition to a Colorado Avalanche team that is still a winning organization. They just need to figure out what is best for them.

Maybe the Avalanche can pull off some blockbuster involving Patrik Laine.

It’s also important to note the recent retirement of Andrew Cogliano as yet another hole on the team that they need to fill. I guess I would not be surprised if a trade involving their first-round pick goes down, but we will have to wait and see.