I mentioned a few times before the draft that I saw a pattern to building of the team. Looking at it, I determined Pracey, Sherman, and PL had a plan. Here's the rundown:
2008: The Year That Shall Not Be Named: The prospect pool was dead from a decade of trading to win cups and then having the team gutted by the lock-out. Wasn't TJ Hensick the top prospect at one time? No, no one cares what you think DetAvs. This year yielded a top 3 pick and everything changed. New GM, new scout, new coach.
2009: Pracey and Co. choose two centers with their first two picks. Duchene was to be a star and the Avs could not run up quickly enough to get O'Reilly. Centers have always been the cornerstone of the Avs and this was the beginning. Also chosen, two offensive minded defenseman. Oh yeah, they are back to back WHL defenseman of the year. Right there you have a foundation for a team most other teams hope for.
2010: Pracey and Co. go off the board to get another center. They loved this kid when other's had doubts but lo and behold he put up monster numbers. Clearly, they were adding scoring depth at a position that any team not named Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Detroit would envy. After that Pracey addressed goalie depth with two goalies in the next three picks. Adding to the two goalies taken in 2009, jesus that draft gets an A+, now Pracey has stocked piled four goalies into the system.
2011: What seems to be missing? If you were building a team in three drafts and you now have three centers, two offensive D, four goalies and some third pairing D, what do you need next? Wingers and shut down defenseman. HEY! LOOK AT THAT!!!!!! First, the Avs chose Landeskog at LW followed by a 6'3 Siemens who apparently checks walls for fun. Then Pracey chooses another Swedish C/LW and a bunch of larger sized defensemen. So, two wingers and four defensemen.
If you take the team after the horrid year of 2008 and consider a three year rebuild for the system, it's been done. There is still a weakness at wing, but that is a result of some lost 2nd round picks but it can be made up in trades...cough Mueller/Flash/Whoever is next..cough. Pracey did precisely what someone would do if their was a plan in place for a longer rebuild. We, as fans, got lucky that the Avs made the playoff when Duchene, Radar, Galiardi, Stewart all played above their expectations last year. The following year sucked, but now it's on track.
I love this draft because the Avs showed they are not running around shedding salary with no intent on ever being good again. They are building a franchise again after it was gutted. Clearly, the Avs loved Landeskog for a lot of a reasons. Even Tallon admitted Florida wanted Landy. I think with Huberdeau's year the Avs looked at him but agreed Landy was a better fit and maybe they saw things they disliked. As per Larsson, clearly Pracey and the AES looked at him. Why not choose him? They were able to trade for Johnson and can, maybe, sign another defenseman. I think they deemed that with the rare 2nd overall pick a Larsson might come around again, but a Landeskog would not. For a group that has systematically rebuilt the team and prospect pool, we should defer to them because it was not those men choosing a player who can make the team, but a player they wanted for their current and future team. They got Duchene his winger.
As for Seimens, I love this pick because he has a quality that the Avs other defensmen lack; bloodlust. A Shea Weber, Scott Stevens type player. Sure Murphy is good, but is he better than Elliott or Barrie? Who knows; Do you need to draft a Rafalski when you have a Leetch and Green in your system? No, but you damn well need a Stevens. Did Cohen have that quality? Perhaps. But Siemens seems like he has more character and maturity as a player. Also, he apparently contempt for everything as Tempestuous Binary realized.
I love the rest of the picks because they are the best you can do in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds. They could take long-shots on goalies or forwards, but this was a shallow draft. They found some size on the back-end and if one of those pays off, great. Who knows about Nermark except he has an offensive touch and he might grow into something.
This draft filled holes perfectly and I love it. It shows a plan, strategy, and system for rebuilding our favorite team. There are clearly short term concerns: goalie, wings, etc but the core is there. The core is no longer just Duchene, Stastny, O'Reilly and Johnson, but now include Landeskog, Siemens, Elliot/Barrie, and Pickard.
I don't love all the moves Sherman has made, but you have to imagine with Pracey and Sakic around the three of them are building a team to win. That brain trust still needs sign some players but it would be illogical of me to assume they won't do that after they perfectly designed and instituted a draft strategy perfectly. Badly GM-ed teams usually have bad drafting as well. The Avs have one of those things down to a science and I have confidence.
Addendum: I know Bob is going to bring up Kroenke and his cheapness. I still believe they will sign a goalie and either a defenseman or winger. At this point with Liles being traded I imagine a higher prices winger might be playing along side Duchene in October. This also explains why they are no re-signing flash. If he wants 3 mil, they can get a player worth twice him for 5 million. It's a thought.