The NHL Draft is right around the corner and the team with the biggest decision to make is the Colorado Avalanche who will be selecting first overall — for now. The team has made it no secret that they’re looking to move down in the draft if the right offer comes along but if they do stay put, they won’t be taking the guy everyone is projecting as the top pick int he draft class.
According to the Denver Post, Av’s executive vie president Joe Sakic says if the team stays in the top spot they will be selecting one of three forwards they have on a short list and not defenseman Seth Jones, a guy most in the NHL consider to be the best player coming into the league this year.
“If we do pick first, we’re leaning more toward one of those three forwards,” Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told The Denver Post.
Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater states that the Av’s have short listed Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Alexander Barkov but Seth Jones is not on their list of players they are looking to take with the top pick.
This is outstanding news for the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lighting who pick second and third in the draft respectively. With the Av’s passing on Seth Jones, the puck is on the Panthers side of the ice as they can either take Jones and own the best prospect in the draft or they can accept any one of the numerous trade offers that will be flying their way from teams looking to trade up and select Jones before he slips to the Lightning at third overall.
Should the Panthers pass on Jones or a trade offer for him, the Lightning will be thanking the hockey gods as they sprint to the podium with the card announcing they’ve drafted the American defenseman.
The Avalanche are entering a new era in the team’s history and new people like Sakic and Patrick Roy are in charge. But they’ve already started fans off with some doubt as the first major move the team will be making is the one to pass on the best prospect in the draft.