The Colorado Avalanche have already made it pretty clear that they’re not planning on taking Seth Jones with the first overall pick in this weekend’s 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you fall on, agreeing or disagreeing with that strategy, the fallout of skipping over him could be pretty extensive.
Skipping over Jones means that the Avalanche will likely turn their attention to one of the three young forwards available at the front of the draft. If they were to draft, say, Nathan MacKinnon, we have a pretty good idea of what move may come next as a corresponding one.
Paul Stastny has long been mentioned in trade rumors. The Avalanche are three centers deep, between Stastny, Matt Duchene, and Ryan O’Reilly. With Duchene looking like the most promising and O’Reilly unable to be traded until February since that’s when he signed his new contract, Stastny is the likely trade candidate.
Not to mention he’s also the most expensive of the trio. That aspect alone makes him likely to be dealt as the Avalanche try and build on the fly, rather than entry a true rebuild. But if the Avalanche were to select a top center, like MacKinnon, with the first pick in the draft, it would pretty much signal the end for Stastny.
It wouldn’t be difficult at all for the Avalanche to find a taker for Stastny. Despite a couple of disappointing seasons, by his standards, he’s a player capable of putting in 20-25 goals and can win over 50 percent of his draws. Teams around the league will line up for talent like that.
There has even been some talk of a swap for Dion Phaneuf in a potential Stastny trade. Which would help to make the Avs’ decision to pass on Jones a little more logical. But whatever direction the Avalanche end up going this weekend will give a pretty large indication as to the future of Paul Stastny.