I mean we used this when it was, literally, the new year. I figure it works for the start of a new season too though.
Yes, you read that right. The Colorado Avalanche won the number one pick in this year’s draft. It’s a sweet ending after a bitter season.
Colorado ended the season 29th overall in the league-it’s worst season statistically since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995. Due to changes in the lottery this year, every non-playoff team had a shot to win the number one pick. The chances were staggered, with the league’s worst, Florida, receiving the best odds. (The Avs had an 18.8% chance of earning this pick.) Had a team below Florida or Colorado won the lottery, each team that finished “ahead” would have simply moved down one spot from where they finished-meaning the Avs, at the worst, would have the third overall pick.
Luckily, they got the first, which means that they will be able to pick whomever they want, and shape the rest of the NHL’s choices. Nearly everyone thought, prior to tonight’s lottery, that Seth Jones would be the first pick. He is a versatile, large, talented defenseman, the type that could change a franchise. (Jones first started to skate and play hockey in the Denver area, as his father, “Popeye” Jones, played for the Denver Nuggets at the time.) Now that the Avs have the first pick, anyone who was uncertain before has to be convinced that this young man will be the first chosen this year. After all, he is the only defenseman among the three players expected to go 1,2, and 3.
The Avs certainly don’t need another center (Nate MacKinnon), when one considers Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, John Mitchell, and the fact that Mark Olver, or Brad Malone is capable of taking on the role of fourth line center. Even if the Avs traded one of their centers (rumors about Paul Stastny abound, much to my chagrin), they still have a couple of good centers in the system. MacKinnon, I’m sure you’re fabulous, but I think you can kiss that shot at “Drafted, First Overall” goodbye.
The only player who I think could really challenge Jones at this point is Jonathan Drouin. He’s a winger, who’s said to have skills similar to Patrick Kane. However, he is a smaller player (and the Avs already do have a smaller forward core). As a skilled left winger, he could provide a lot of competition for Gabriel Landeskog, who at this point is the undisputed top LW on the team, and he could challenge Jamie McGinn as he tries to stay on the top line. (And people who are shouting WHAT ABOUT CODY McLEOD HE IS THE GREATEST”…I love Cody Mac, but let’s be real here. If he’s our number one LW (as he was in the final third of the season), the team isn’t going anywhere. He’s a solid player, and he can play top minutes when needed, but he’s not going to score 20 goals.)
If you would like to look at the official, final rankings of the year provided by the NHL, head over here and take a look. Final draft rankings for all 30 teams will be determined after the playoffs.
Basically, I think the team is taking Seth. I’ll save you the fact spamming until draft day, and simply say #AvspickSeth.