Thursday, January 6, 2011

Draft by Decade: Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche have a young powerhouse team, but amazingly they've had only six first round selections in the whole decade.

2001 was a solid draft.  Any time you take a goalie in the first two rounds and he ends up even as a back-up you've probably done ok.  Peter Budaj isn't a bad 63rd pick, and Cody McCormick at 144 is a nice use of a pick for servicable depth player, but stealing Marek Svatos at 227 that year was the first glimpse of this team's ability to spot the diamond in the rough.

2002 saw the Av's taken Jonas Johansson ahead of Jarret Stoll and Trevor Daley.  They more than made up for it selecting Johnny Boychuck in the second round, and Tom Gilber 129th over all.  Imagine if those two were still on Colorado's back end?

In 2003 they took current starter David Jones out of Jr. A, and his former teammate Brandon Yip in 2004, both in the eighth round.  That same year they had a great late first round pick in Wojtek Wolski at 21.

2005 was a showcase draft for the Av's.  If you can believe it it they had no first round pick but ended up with Ryan Stoa, Paul Stastny, TJ Hensick and Kyle Cumiskey.  2006 they did have a first rounder and used that for power forward Christ Stewart. Next year they took Kevin Shattenkirk with their first round pick, and TJ Galiardi in the second round, and next year they took Matt Duchene 3rd, and Ryan O'Reilly 33rd as the two started in their first year with the club and helped them to a surprising playoff appearance.  They also took two more offensive defenseman, Tyson Barrie 64th, and Sefan Elliot 49th.  In 2010 they stole Joey Hishon at 17th, he's on nearly a 2 points per game clip in the OHL this year.  They also took WHL goalie of the year Calvin Pickard and Centre Michael Bournival in the 2nd and 3rd round respectively.

This team is chalked full of young talent despite a lack of quality picks.  You could argue Calgary had better opportunity at the draft table and look at how these teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Colorado deserves a solid B for their efforts.  They took some risks and were rewarded and they deserve a solid B.

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