Poor 1st round drafting the reason for Avs current position?

I was looking at the recent draft history per year and noticed that they haven't been doing all that well, draft wise. Mainly in the first round they haven't been able to put the icing on the cake.

In my review I'm excluding picks later than the 2nd round as hardly any team, other than Detroit, could've expected those players to pan out.

So follow me after the jump and we'll see how they've fared in recent history:


In 1996 the Avs had the 25th out of the 26 1st round picks, and they came up with Peter Ratchuk.



Ratchuk played 32 games in the NHL (Panthers, signed as FA) before he was sent down and ended up in Germany.

Other players still available by then were Cory Sarich, Dan Lacouture, Josh Green, Matt Cullen, Steve Begin, Jan Bulis, Matthieu Garon and Colin White.

Most of these names don't ring any bells, but all of them have had more productive playing careers than Ratchuk and played at least 200 games in the NHL.


This year the Avs had the last 1st round pick and chose Kevin Grimes.

[No picture findable].

Grimes never made it to the NHL and the Avs would've done better picking Ben Clymer, Henrik Tallinder or Kristian Huselius.

It  looks like the 97 draft was slim pickings, but most NHL calibre players were drafted before the Avs could choose (Brendan Morrow with pick #25) or in later rounds.


In 1998 the Avs had 4 first round picks (#12, #17, #19 and #20) and did pretty well. They first picked Alex Tanguay.



Followed by Skoula, Regehr and Parker.

Nobody will argue the Tanguay pick, and Skoula and Regehr were quite decent choices also. But just imagine if they used one of the 3 remaining picks (Tanguay was solid) to grab Gagne, Gomez, Cheechoo or Ribeiro.


Out of the 28 available picks, the Avs received #25 and picked Mikhail Kuleshov.



Kuleshov played a solid 3 games in the NHL, recording 4 shots on goal. He didn't do that much better in Russia nor the AHL.

The Sens had the pick after the Avs and decided to pick Martin Havlat. Other players who could've been wearing a Avs Jersey are Mike Commodore, Jordan Leopold (What now?) and Adam Hall.


This year the Avs had pick #14 and Chose Vaclav Nedorost



overlooking a whole bunch of top 6 forwards like Alexander Frolov, Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Antoine Vermette.


This year the Avs only had pick #63, which somehow just fell within the 2nd round. They picked Budaj. No problems, but not worth mentioning as, technically, he fell out of my guidelines (only 1st round picks, to later picks up to the last pick of the 2nd round). is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of

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