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Sunday Week in Review Thread 6/28/15: Draft, Trades and Everything Else

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Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning all. It was a big week for the beloved Avalanche to say the least. A couple of small, but savvy trades, one big trade and 7 players added to the org via the Amateur Draft. Let's get right to it.

- Whether you believe the reported salary Ryan O'Reilly was asking for or not, the fact was that the Avs were done negotiating and decided to make him someone else's problem. Ryan's a good player and will be missed on the ice, but if someone won't sign a contract without a gun pointed to his head then it's better for everyone just to move on. See ya.

- On a sadder note, Jamie McGinn leaves the org after missing most of last season with a chronic back injury. A decent middle-6 winger on a good contract, he will also be missed on the ice and in MHH comment threads. Good luck, Fatso.

- The haul coming back the other way was pretty impressive fortunately, the centerpiece being gigantic young defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Also included were underachieving RFA center Mikhail Grigorenko, pesty U of Michigan Captain JT Compher and the 31st pick in the draft, which the Avs flipped to the Sharks for the 39th pick and the 2 selections in 2016 they gave away in the horrible Brad Stuart trade. Zadorov is raw but impressive for this stage of his development and should step right into the Avs top-4 D. Grigorenko, although criminally mismanaged by the Sabres, still hasn't lived up to 1st rounder status. Hopefully a better and more familiar head coach can get him back on track and into solid bottom-6 forward territory. Compher will play this season in the NCAA and look for a contract next summer. All in all this is more than I was hoping for, so I'm calling it a win.

- Before the big trade the Avs made a small but important one on Thursday, sending back the 6th rounder acquired from Boston in the Talbot trade for center Carl Soderberg's UFA rights and signing him Friday morning for 5 years @ $4.75M per. Joe Sakic places him as a top-6 center going into camp.

- Friday night, the Avs selected imposing Finnish winger Mikko Rantanen with the 10th pick in the draft. Great pick and Yogi's off the hook now for winning those meaningless games at the end of the year. There's the possibility Rantanen steps right into the NHL next season and while he's eligible to play in the AHL I'd prefer not to burn a year off his ELC just to play in the minors. It's the kind of thing you can regret 5 years down the road and if he's not ready to play right off the bat for the Avs then patience is the right call.

- Saturday at the draft was a mixed bag. With back-to-back picks, LW AJ Greer and D Nicolas Meloche were taken in the 2nd round. Greer had a promising season as a very young freshman at BU and Meloche is a big playmaking D that can skate. Next up in the 3rd round came Jean-Christophe Beaudin from Rouyn-Noranda, a good 2-way center.

All solid picks to that point, but afterwards it got a little dicey. In the 4th round the Avs selected nearly 21yo Andrei Mironov from the KHL. Mironov was an all-star last year and looks to be a solid if unspectacular defenseman, but he's signed for a couple more years in the KHL and whether he's truly interested in playing in the NHL is up in the air. The Avs rounded out the day with a couple of YOLO picks in the 6th & 7th rounds - another Russian overage defenseman, Sergei Boikov, who plays for Drummondville of the Q and enormous 17yo Swedish center Gustav Olhaver.

All in all, it's a decent draft but I think they could have done a bit more in the later rounds. There's nothing wrong with a YOLO pick, but I'd rather see something a bit more practical out of one of those spots. It looks like Alan Hepple was trying so hard not to make Rick Pracey picks that he might have overlooked an opportunity there. 7 draftees and not a single one from the OHL or WHL, where most of our amateur scouts are based. Makes you wonder if more shakeups in the scouting ranks are in the cards.

- It was announced Friday night that RFA Joey Hishon would be qualified and RFA Jordan Caron would not. Both good moves. Qualifying offers must be in by tomorrow, but like everything else with the Avs who knows if or when they will be announced. Grigorenko, Pickard, Agozzino, Elliott, Clark, & Hamilton are the likely candidates left for QOs and the Avs have 38 contracts signed for next year as far as I know.

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Next up: RFA qualifying tomorrow, UFA legal tampering period continues through Wednesday when teams can start making tragic mistakes by signing everyone in sight for all the $$$. Enjoy!