Obviously the Avs may well select first overall. We might not know for sure until they announce who it is. But assuming that they do trade the pick, what, exactly, we would want to see in return? What would we accept for that #1 in a massive draft as "fair value"?
1. How far down would you be willing to go?
I think the Avalanche have already given us their answer. Here is the first piece of it:
After a week of internal meetings, Avalanche brass came to a conclusion: Jones won't be their pick. Instead, it could be any one of three forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or Alexander Barkov.
"If we do pick first, we're leaning more toward one of those three forwards," Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told The Denver Post. (Dater)
Common conversation has referred to Jones, Drouin, MacKinnon as the top three picks. So if Barkov isn't getting serious consideration, why mention him at all? Why not leave it with the Halifax kids? Now add in Sandie's report from the Combine that Barkov has gotten extra time interviewing with the Avs and the seriousness with which Colorado is considering picking him becomes apparent.
As for WHL From Above?
I've been told by a fairly good source that Finnish C Aleksander 'Sasha' Barkov is the target for the Colorado Avalanche as we approach the 2013 NHL Draft. (CJN)
This isn't an outlet I'm familiar with. If this is someone who's looking at the picture I'm looking at and putting together the same pieces, who decided to go with an almost-strongly worded report this morning and generate clicks, then well done I guess. Logically, the trail is there. But if this is a WHL radio guy who has contacts--"fairly good" ones--telling him the Avs really want Barkov? Barkov can definitely be had from a position lower than first overall. The question becomes how much lower?
- #1 is currently aimed at a forward (1).
- Florida want a forward (2) at #2 overall.
- Tampa are taking Seth Jones #3 if we don't #1.
- Nashville will take a forward (3) at #4.
If the Avs were to trade down from #1 to #4, with a team in Nashville that is defined by its organizational depth at the blueline, their guy is Aleksander Barkov all along. The draft would look like this:
- Nashville (from Colorado): MacKinnon/Drouin
- Florida: MacKinnon/Drouin
- Tampa Bay: Jones
- Colorado (from Nashville): Barkov
Anywhere lower than 4 and we're risking not getting one of our guys. In the worst-case scenario at #4, imagine that Barkov is taken either 1 or 2. It's a bizarro-world indeed in which Seth Jones falls past Tampa Bay's third overall. Now we're left with whichever of Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin wasn't taken. WHAT A HORRIBLE CONSOLATION PRIZE YOU GUYS. So that's my answer too. Unless you blow my shorts the fuck off with the value in return, don't trade farther down than 4.
2. What would you expect in return?
Here's where things get... murky. Obviously for example three firsts this year from Calgary didn't get it done. The team has a serious need for top defensemen and Seth Jones was the most obvious way to fill that. If Seth isn't in the cards, then the organ-eye-zation has to find defense elsewhere. Here's what the impeccable Elliotte Friedmann had to say:
The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche refuse to confirm it, but the source is excellent: Flames general manager Jay Feaster recently made a bold move, offering his three first-round draft picks (sixth, 22nd, 28th) to Colorado for the No. 1 overall selection. The Avalanche said no. And the rebuff came fast.
This is consistent with what Patrick Roy has said, that if his team is going to move out of the Top 3, it will take a magnificent offer. Calgary's fell short because it did not include anyone ready to play in the NHL right now. And we're not talking about just anybody. We're talking a significant force. (Friedmann)
That makes it logical that at the very least a top defensive prospect who's close to top-pairing ready would be the centerpiece of the deal. If we're trying to pull a legit proven 1-2D then either they won't be picking in the first round this time, or we'll be sending a significant asset back along with the pick.
Trade proposals are not my strong suit, so I'll leave specific names open for discussion. But that's what kind of package Joe and Patrick are demanding.