Breathe a sigh of relief, Avalanche fans. The draft is finally here and the organization will be adding a half-dozen prospects to worry/fawn over for the remainder of their early development. Festivities will kick off 7:00 PM EST (5:00 PM MST), with the first 30 picks occurring this evening in prime time and Rounds 2-7 on Saturday morning starting at 10:00 AM EST (8:00 AM MST).
Below, we attempt to answer all the questions you might have:
Where can I watch?
Friday (NBCSN, SN, TVA)
Saturday (NHLN, SN, TVA2)
No TV? The entire draft will be streamed (we'll post links when they become available). Also follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/milehighhockey).
When do the Avs pick?
Round 1 - No. 10
Round 2 - No. 40
Round 3 - No. 71
Round 4 - Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Shawn Matthias
Round 5 - No. 131
Round 6 - No. 161
Round 7 - No. 191
Where do I find speculation and rumors?
Glad you asked! SBNation Hockey is a network of 29 other similar (though far inferior) sites who pool information and resources to give you the best possible coverage. Hit up the links below to stay informed of all the latest happenings:
NHL Draft: sbnation.com/nhl-draft
NHL Mock Draft: sbnation.com/nhl-mock-draft
NHL Trade Rumors: sbnation.com/nhl-trade-rumors
Will the Avalanche be making trades?
Sure. It's very likely transactions will be made, but they won't necessarily be the blockbusters purported on national outlets. Last year, Colorado traded the No. 31 overall pick, obtained from Buffalo in the Ryan O'Reilly trade, to San Jose in exchange for the No. 39 overall pick and the 2016 second rounder they gave up in the Brad Stuart trade a year prior. Sometimes really effective trading can be very subtle.
How mad should I be when Colorado selects a player before the mock drafts said they would?
Not very. Though journalists (and pundits) often put a lot of work into compiling player information and interviewing scouts, they generally have no way of knowing how a team values amateur players -- especially one as tight-lipped as the Avalanche. Save your anger for 3-4 years down the road when the prospect doesn't pan out and he's shipped off to Arizona for spare parts.
Will the Avalanche's top selections be immediate contributors?
Don't count on it. Outside the top few players in the draft, very few prospects are considered NHL ready. Does this mean it's a weak draft class? Not necessarily. A very small percentage of 18-year-olds have ever been good enough to play in the NHL right away after being drafted. Colorado has been lucky to draft quite a few in recent years, but that doesn't mean it should be the expectation. Even if they're good, it's very likely most are two-to-three years away. Make sure to follow their progress on MHH's in-season CHL and AHL coverage!
Then how will I know if these were good picks?!
We'll tell you! After the draft, the site will provide analysis through a number of different mediums, sourcing trusted junior hockey observers and spouting off opinions of our own. There will be articles, podcasts, and community comments -- LOTS of comments. There is no better way to follow the draft than with thousands of your favorite internet hockey fans, so make sure to stop by! Should be fun.