The Colorado Avalanche are proud to select...
We hear about the players like Bleackley, Sanheim, Milano, Scherbak and many others but who could the Avs draft besides them? I know Chambers touched on 5 US born options that received mixed reviews but honestly 4 are likely on the Avs radar. All players expected to be in the range of the 23rd pick will be projects with issues holding them back but there could be a few quality options that the Avs could do well with.
Tuch- McGinn level prospect who brings size to any teams top 9. Expected to be gone before the 23rd pick.
Milano- Crafty skilled speedster who could be a good top 6 player. Also likely gone before the 23rd pick.
Larkin- fast two-way forward with good skill and an intense approach to the game. Could be there at 23rd and is on the Avs radar.
Schmaltz- here is an interesting player (also very Penguins like). He's highly skilled, smart and a great skater. Can be a game changer but he could also be just another top 6 forward. St Louis picks before the Avs and his brother is a St Louis pick. This is the type of player you use a late 1st rounder on and smile wide about it as he has the potential to be very very good if he puts it all together.
DeAngelo- last of the 5 (first on The DP list). He's your gamble. Lots of questions about him. He's high risk high reward. If we wasn't trying to be too fancy at times and showed more character he would be a top pick. His scouting profile reads almost like Subban's did in 2007. Can a team get through to him? Can he be developed into the stud offensive D he has the skills to be? His character and size are the question marks while his skill and compete are not. He's a risk but some team looking for that sublime offensive ability will gamble on him. Possibly even earlier than expected.
A few others of high interest:
McCann- I've mentioned him off and on but never went into too much detail. Likely gone before the Avs pick but could be there. Two-way player who projects as a top tier second line center. With the right system and talent around him could produce more.
McKeown- A lot of talk about him being a top 4 D at the NHL level. Has great wheels and puck skills but has slid down the rankings despite one time being looked at as a potential #2 D at the NHL level. The ability is there to be very good but he's all over the board depending on who you ask.
Pastrnak- The only non-NA player on this list. There is always risk with players like Pastrnak due to him not being NA and not "big" by NHL standards but it will be hard to pass on someone with such a high level of skill and the ability to be a goal scorer or set-up man. Could be the Avs' new Hejduk if everything came together.