The Colorado Avalanche have made it clear in the past couple of weeks that they have no intention of entering a long term rebuild. And nor should they, as they have assets in place and likely aren’t far off from being a playoff contender in the Western Conference. What that means is that certain assets that they can part with will be moved to improve the club in an effort to contend next year.
One of those assets that they do hold is the no. 1 pick in the draft, which is set to take place at the end of this month. Despite the fact that Colorado boy Seth Jones is a lock to be the first overall selection, at a position of need for the Avs, there’s been a great deal of talk about the Avalanche dealing the pick.
We know at least one team that they could be discussing such a swap with, and that’s the Buffalo Sabres. Unlike the Avalanche, the Sabres are actually heading into a rebuild. With only a couple of marquee players on their roster, they’ll look to sell off their remaining assets this summer.
Those assets include Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. Both of the veterans have found their way into rumors surrounding a potential trade between the two teams. In such a deal, other pieces would obviously be involved, while the Avs would probably slide down to the no. 8 overall pick, where the Sabres currently reside.
This could also be an opportunity for the Avalanche to try and deal Paul Stastny, as paying that type of money for a player who’s going to reside on the third line for Colorado would be even tougher after taking on salaries like Vanek and Miller come with. All of this is pure speculation at this point, of course.
We don’t know if the Avalanche will deal the first overall pick, but we do know that they’ve talked about it. I still stand by the statement that moving the pick would be an absolutely foolish move, when you have a player like Seth Jones available at the top of the draft, when you already need impact players on the blue line.
The Sabres are the first team we’ve heard about being in some sort of connection with the first overall draft pick. They very likely will not be the last.