As we approach the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche have been in the news on an almost daily basis, for one reason or another. It started when they informally announced that they would be passing on Seth Jones with the first overall pick. Now we have a pretty good idea of who they will take with that top selection.
We’ve heard from several members of the organization over the last couple of days, whether it’s Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, or various scouts throughout the organization, that rather than take Jones, who resides at a position of real need, the Avalanche will move to select Nathan MacKinnon first overall in Sunday’s draft.
Not that MacKinnon is a poor choice with no. 1 overall. Despite the Avs having less of a need for a center than a defenseman, MacKinnon is looked at Jones in a similar fashion, in that each prospect is looked at as the type of guy who is can’t-miss, with superstar potential.
MacKinnon is the total package in the middle. As an offensive player, he has tremendous upside. His hands are absurdly good and he knows how to put the puck in the net. He’s not the type of two-way prospect that someone like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was in 2011, but that part of his game is coming along as well.
He’s a winner and brings the right attitude, as well as the fact that he can play the physical game as well. That combination of size and speed will make him a nightmare matchup for a lot of centers and defensemen throughout the league. He’s a complete player and it shouldn’t be long before he’s a superstar.
What selecting MacKinnon no. 1 overall could mean for the Avalanche is that at least one of their young centers will be gone in the very near future. Whether that’s Paul Stastny or Matt Duchene, or even Ryan O’Reilly when he’s eligible to be dealt, remains to be seen.