Avs' Future Through the Draft?

Since the lockout ended and the new CBA was handed down written in blood on the dried skin from Bob Goodenow's carcass, the party line for developing a championship team has been drafting well .  The second caveat of that strategy seemed to be trying to draft as many guys who were ready to play ‘right now’.  This saves money toward the cap, and generates excitement when fans can see guys that likely will be long-time contributors to the team. Setting aside the 06 and 07 draft classes in this evaluation, nobody but Wojtek Wolski came out of his class (drafted in 04, played in 05-06) and nobody but Paul Stastny (drafted in 05, played in 06-07) has come out of his class to contribute to the Avs within a year of drafting. Remember, Baron von Stastinheim was the 2nd round pick that year!  Hell, nobody but Wolly has come out of that class to contribute at all. Blame it on draft position (the Avalanche didn’t have a pick higher than 14th in any draft since the lockout), blame it on shallow talent pools, blame it on something, but the truth remains, the Avs haven’t generated an immediate impact player via the draft since Stastny, and that seemed to stem more from dumb luck than anything.

Well, that’s the history, here’s the future: no first round pick for the Colorado Avalanche this year.  It went to Columbus in the Adam Foote deal (assuming he signs).  Nobody else has joined Wolski from his draft class with the big club yet, and nobody from SOS’s class has shown up for the big time yet either.  Granted, we may see Chris Stewart next year, and Brad Richardson could finally stick with the big club and produce, but they still weren’t immediate.  So it begs the question: Is the Avalanche’s drafting approach (players who need additional time to develop) the right strategy for the current environment?  If our competitors are finding guys in the 6th and 7th rounds, what does that say when we’re lucky to get guys in the first couple of rounds to work out?

 

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but with the lack of a draft pick this year, given the current CBA environment, I’m worried about the Avs' long-term outlook.  Some of that outlook looks possibly OK, especially at forward, but they’ve been notoriously shaky at picking decent defensemen, and they don’t have the best track record with spotting goalies either.  No Toskala and Kiprusoff’s in the Avs' draft history.  Still, I think I’m justified in my worry.  Am I wrong?  

 UPDATE: Fixed the Foote stuff.

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