The 2018 NHL Draft is only weeks away from taking place. The Colorado Avalanche have eight picks this year, and at least one in each round. Things could change between now and the draft, but right now I have a list of where the Avalanche will pick and the players they’ve chosen in that position before if they ever have.
Tom and I offered our picks for players at each position, though after round two it’s all a guessing game.
The Avalanche have never picked at #16 before
This is the Av’s first time picking 16th overall as the franchise has never picked here - be it in Colorado or Quebec. I’ve gone with a homer pick in Akil Thomas, a bit of a project centre but if things go well, the Avs will have made out like bandits.
Round 2 - 47th overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Nando Eggenberger (LW) - Davos, NLA
Tom’s preferred pick: Cameron Hillis (C) - Guelph Storm, OHL
2005 - Tom Fritsche - Never played in the NHL
2000 - Jared Aulin - Rights traded to Los Angeles Kings along with Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, 2001 1st round pick and 2003 1st round pick in exchange for Rob Blake and Steven Reinprecht.
Tom Fritsche was drafted out of the USNTDP and went on to play four years at Ohio State. After college he played three years in the minors - two in the AHL with the Lake Erie Monsters and one in the CHL with the Tulsa Oilers before hanging up the skates.
Round 2 - 58th overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Nico Gross (D) - Oshawa Generals, OHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Adam Ginning (LD) - Linkoping HC, SHL
The Avalanche have never picked at #58 before.
The Avalanche got their second second round pick from the Nashville Predators along with Samuel Girard, and Vladislav Kamenev in exchange for Kyle Turris.
Round 3 - 78th overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Kody Clark (RW) - Ottawa 67s, OHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Linus Karlsson (C) - Karlskrona HK, SHL
1997 - Ville Nieminen (LW) - Av stats: 104GP - 24G - 22A - 46Pts - 68PM
1985 - David Espe (D) - Never played in the NHL
1984 - Terry Perkins (RW) - Never played in the NHL
The Avalanche picked once at #78 and got 104 games of Ville Nieminen out of it, his longest stint with one team in the NHL. In 2002 he would be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Rick Berry in exchange for Darius Kasparaitis.
The Nordiques picked two players who would do no more than a few AHL seasons.
Round 4 - 109th overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Riley Sutter (RW) - Everett Silvertips, WHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Jack Perbix (RW) - Green Bay Gamblers, USHL
The Avalanche have never picked at #109 before.
In the fourth round it’s anyone’s guess but I’d like to see the Avalanche take a chance on the billionth Sutter to be drafted into the NHL. He has NHL size already and the Silvertips were close to winning the WHL championship with him playing the power forward role.
Round 5 - 140th overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Anthony Popovich (G) - Guelph Storm, OHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Kristian Tanus (F) - Tappera U20, Jr. A SM-liiga
2008 - Mark Olver (C) - Avs Stats: 74GP - 10G - 12A - 22Pts - 39PM
Mark Olver was drafted while playing for Northern Michigan in the NCAA and lasted four seasons in the Avalanche system before heading for KHL in 2014-15. After a season split between Switzerland and Germany Olver tried one more year in North America in the AHL in 2016-17 and spent last season with Eisbären Berlin in the DEL where he’l suit up again next season.
Round 6 - 171st overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Isaac Nurse (RW) - Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Emil Westerlund (W) - University of Maine, NCAA
1988 - Dan Wiebe (LW) - Never played in the NHL
1980 - Christian Tanguay (RW) - Nordiques Stats: 2GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM
The Avalanche never picked at #171 but the Nordiques did twice, striking out both times. Wiebe was drafted in his second season with the University of Alberta but never played pro in a league higher than the ECHL. Tanguay played 2 NHL games after his final QMJHL season ended, but would go on to a handful of seasons in the IHL and AHL before retiring.
Round 7 - 202nd overall
seldo’s preferred pick: Justin MacPherson (D) - Niagara IceDogs, OHL
Tom’s preferred pick: Drew DeRidder (G) - USNTDP U18
1982 - Vincent Lukac (F) - Never played in the NHL
Vincent Lukac never left Europe and never played many games in top leagues before retiring.
So, there are the Avalanche picks in 2018. Hopefully they can pick some good (re: IceDogs) players in the draft, or at the very least make things entertaining.