Another draft in the books. Here’s how the MHH crew thinks the Avalanche fared over the weekend in Vancouver:
Did the Colorado Avalanche make the right pick at 4th Overall with defenseman Bowen Byram and center Alex Newhook at 16th Overall?
Jackie: Yes, absolutely. The Avalanche couldn’t have scripted a better first round. Byram brings franchise level top pairing talent who is close to contributing and also was best player available. Newhook needs a bit more refinement but is not far off on upside from the forwards who were in consideration at four.
Tom: Yes and no. I would have selected Turcotte and Krebs, but that doesn’t make Byram and Newhook bad picks. I was higher on Newhook than most - having him as the 9th best prospect in the draft - so for the Avs to get him at 16 was absolutely outstanding. It’s unquestionable that the Avalanche had the best first round of anyone outside of the Devils and Rangers BUT it would have been interesting to how things would have played out if Dach had fallen to them - especially with reports yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks were on the verge of trading for the third overall pick in order to leapfrog the Avs. Things could have played out much differently.
Luke: After stepping away from the disappointment of not taking Turcotte or Krebs, who were available at 4 and 16, grabbing he best defenseman and stealing Newhook at 16 is a great outcome for the Avalanche. MacKinnon - Newhook center punch with a Makar- Byram pair? Hell yes!
Adrian: Indeed! Bowen Bryam has all of the tools necessary to become an impact defenseman in burgundy and blue. He can skate, isn’t afraid to jump up into the play and has a wicked shot. I also love the Newhook pick for two reasons— He will be going to Boston College which is an excellent program to grow in, and his favorite player is Jerome Iginla.
Outside the first round what was your favorite selection?
Tom: As much as I love the Alex Beaucage pick, I’m going to go with getting Trent Miner in the 7th round. This kid has the potential to be a legitimate NHL goalie down the line so the fact that the Avs got him at 202 is incredible value. He fell because he’s not “ideal size” for what many teams want in a goalie these days - and the Avalanche took advantage of it. He’s better than his draft placement and I think we’ll see that over the next few years. The fact that he’s Byram’s teammate is just icing on the cake.
Luke: Sasha Mutala. The former 6th pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft was considered a late 1st pick in August, but struggled this year producing as well as growing. A great two-way winger who I believe is poised for a huge year this year. If he hits, he a mid 6 NHLer.
Jackie: Can’t go wrong with adding a Huskie and a Memorial Cup champion in Alex Beaucage. The Avalanche should know exactly what they are getting going back to the familiar well in Rouyn-Noranda with their hallmark traits in work ethic, two-way intelligent play and compete level. Beaucage brings an NHL level shot to the table and if he can improve his skating will be a welcome addition eventually to the pro system.
Adrian: Trent Miner. It’s a well known fact that high quality goaltending is hard to come by in this league and getting Miner in the system with the 202nd pick is an incredible steal. He is coming off a 24-5-1 record and a 1.98 GAA in the WHL last year and has a ton of potential.
Was there anything the Avalanche did not accomplish at the draft that you wish they had?
Luke: Not really, I was hoping for a few European big swing picks but all in all I'm happy how the draft weekend turned out.
Jackie: Tyson Barrie rumors swirled on day one of the draft and it would have been nice to get that situation resolved. I do not see a lucrative extension from the Avalanche in his future so it is just prolonging the inevitable at this point.
Tom: It would have been nice if they made a swing for J.T. Miller, he would have been a nice fit for this Avs lineup.
Adrian: I’m hoping the Avalanche can hang on to Tyson Barrie and re-sign him this time next year but if Sakic is going to move him, draft day would have been the ideal time to maximize his return.
Snap judgement overall draft grade?
Jackie: This draft class gets a B+ from me. The important part is nailing the first round picks and the Avalanche did just that so the rest of the draft should be all gravy. However they missed an opportunity to really set up a franchise defining draft with the largest collection of top 80 picks they've had and will have for the foreseeable future. The draft went off track from the incredible first round because in the second and third rounds they went conservative, low upside and in one case off the board to do so.
Tom: For me it’s an A. The team knocked it out of the park with the talent they brought in on Day 1. To get two prospects the caliber of Newhook and Byram sets the Avalanche up incredibly well, regardless of how the rest of the draft plays out.
Luke: B+ First rd was a massive hit, line drive, out of the ball park. I do like the mix of guys they got, from long term projects, hope they take the next step guys, to see what happens and adding another goalie In Miner. This was a solid but safe draft in my books.
Adrian: I give it an undetermined A. The Avs are in an awesome spot after crushing it in round one. I for one was shocked that Chicago took Dach over Byram and I’m sure Sakic was more than happy to take the fellow BC native. No one really knows how these young men will effect the future of the franchise but they all have ton of potential.