This is just my interpretation of this upcoming draft after reading the newest article on the NHL's website. This is assuming that we have the 2nd pick of the draft.
Now let's not kid ourselves, Edmonton's biggest weakness is their defense. For them to not take Adam Larsson would be ridiculous to me. Someone here said it prior, Hall, Eberle, Omark, and Paaj can all score, and as we learned as Avalanche fans, centers are easier to come by than a true number one defenseman. You can pretty much put anyone inbetween those wingers and they'll still put up the points. Larsson makes the most sense there.
With that assumption, that Edmonton will select Larsson, that leaves the Avalanche with Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog, Huberdeau, and Couturier left for the Avalanche. Everyone here likes Landeskog with great reason. He's a true winger, which we need, and he has size (6 1/2 foot, 207lbs), and can pretty much do it all in front of the net, behind the net, and from a skill factor. That's a very big asset. But he scares me in the sense that from what I hear he has the lowest ceiling, and may not be as good of an NHL player as Nugent-Hopkins, Huberdeau, and Couturier. So who am I hoping for?
The best player available: Nugent-Hopkins. Hate me now, I understand he brings no size, in fact the dude really needs to put on some weight (6 1/2 foot 164lbs). The kid is a stick. But he will be the best player out of this draft, by far. He's also a center, which is a position that we don't need. The man has been compared to Sakic on countless occasions, and scouts are all over this kids potential. Peter Sullivan from the NHL's central scouting had this to say in that same article on NHL.com:
"A couple of people high up in the Oilers' organization -- and I'm not naming names -- said Hopkins has the best vision on the ice since No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky)," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan, who mainly scouts WHL prospects, told NHL.com. "That's the highest compliment you can get, but also another thing is the way Ryan competes. He never takes a night off and he works as hard in his own end as he does in the offensive zone. It takes a special player with special skills to be able to do that."
Premature? Very, but it is clear that he has the highest ceiling. A team with Hishon, Duchene, Stastny, Nugent-Hopkins, Jones, Flash, and Mueller (hopefully). Thats a bright bright future (Hejduk was left off as I was thinking about 2-3 years down the road and I don't want to assume he'll be there.) Its a small group of forwards in terms of size, yes, and that is an area that can hurt that Avalanche. The talent there is incredible though. That to me is what makes me so excited to have the opportunity to select Nugent-Hopkins. He can make us a huge offensive power in the league for years.
In all actuality Larsson is the guy that I want. Teams win with defense, and giving Big Johnson a great partner like Larsson would really help sure up our defense especially with Quincey coming back. I just don't see Edmonton passing him up. If Larsson is gone and Nugent-Hopkins is on the board, I think the decision will be easy for the Avalanche organization.
What are your thoughts?