Colorado Avalanche Bypass of Seth Jones Gives Nashville Predators Options

By Michael Martin
Seth Jones
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to the NHL Draft on June 30, the Nashville Predators find themselves in a position to possibly add a franchise forward to the mix.

Nathan Mackinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads appear to be the most dynamic forwards in this year’s draft class, but David Poile has his eyes on Finland’s Aleksander Barkov. Anything can happen, but one thing is certain: star defenseman Seth Jones is a lock for the first overall pick. According to every mock draft. According to every scout. According to every prospect enthusiast.

But not according to Colorado Avalanche vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic. The Hall of Famer told the Denver Post this week that the organization was leaning toward passing up on the franchise blue-liner in favor of one of the draft’s top three forwards.

Brian Costello of The Hockey News claims that Mackinnon will be flaunting Avalanche colors on draft day.

The most interesting part of Sakic’s statements, however, is that he included Barkov in his publicized considerations. It has now become apparent that the 17-year-old center is in the same tier as Drouin and Mackinnon — at least according to Colorado’s front office.

What does this mean for the Predators at fourth overall? Good things. Despite speculation, there is not a chance Jones falls out of the top three and Nashville misses out on a top forward. The last thing the Nashville fan base wishes to see is another missed opportunity to acquire an elite scoring talent.

If worse comes to worst, however, the Calgary Flames reportedly offered Colorado all three of their first round picks for Seth Jones and the top overall pick. If Jones is still on the board at fourth overall, perhaps Poile gives Jay Feaster a call.

Adrian Dater, the Avalanche writer that broke the news, also noted that it’s possible Colorado trades down for Barkov.

Nobody is in better position to draft Barkov than the Nashville Predators. If the Avalanche decided to make that move down the draft board, there is a possibility that Poile will be making the first pick in this year’s draft. Expect for Nashville to add Barkov, the top European forward in this year’s draft, to the depth chart on draft day.

However, keep an open mind. Things might get interesting.

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