Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche made waves earlier this week when they came right out and said that they weren’t targeting Seth Jones with the no. 1 overall pick in this month’s NHL Entry Draft. Not only is the fact that they publicly ruled out a player an interesting move, it’s also completely the opposite of what we had expected.
When the Avalanche won the draft lottery, which meant the no. 1 pick, most assumed that Jones would be the pick. And it made sense on multiple levels. Growing up in Denver, Jones immediately had the hometown appeal, on top of the fact that the Avalanche simply need help on the blue line.
That’s putting it lightly. There is a solid offensive core for this Avalanche club, but their blue line is a mess. Not only do they need defensemen capable of playing defense, they need blue liners that can help out on offense. They lacked that last year, with only six goals coming from their blue line.
Jones would help them in each area. This is a kid that can step into the lineup immediately. He’s a two-way defenseman, with a big body capable of playing the physical game, while also being an excellent contributor in the offensive end. If you’re the Avalanche, how do you pass up on that?
The announcement by Sakic is puzzling on a couple of different levels. They were reportedly shopping the pick around, but if they’re not going to take Jones, the player most teams would be moving up to select, then prospective teams can move on to one of the other top five teams that may be interested in trading down.
The fact that the Avalanche are passing on Jones is extremely puzzling in itself. This is a franchise defenseman, the likes of which they currently lack badly. But on top of that, Sakic may have just destroyed their chances of getting what they’d want in trading down. Any way you slice it, this draft is shaping up to be a massive mistake for the Colorado Avalanche, and it’s still over a week away.