After slipping to no. 4 overall, when he was drafted by the Nashville Predators, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, defenseman Seth Jones vowed to make the three teams that passed on him pay. A little over dramatic, but the Colorado Avalanche are likely hoping that won’t happen, but chances are that it will.
The Avalanche passed on Jones, the consensus no. 1 overall pick for several months before the last couple of weeks prior to the draft, in order to select Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads. Given his upside, it’s hard to say that the Avalanche made the wrong choice, but I’m going to say it anyway.
The Colorado Avalanche made a mistake by selecting MacKinnon no. 1 overall. When they won the draft lottery and jumped to no. 1 overall, the expectation was that the pick would be Seth Jones. But their interest in MacKinnon has been well-documented over the last few weeks, somewhat inexplicably.
MacKinnon is going to be a very good player in this league and has superstar potential. But he’s a center, which isn’t a particularly big position of need for the Avalanche. They have Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and Ryan O’Reilly all on the roster right now. They likely plan on trading one or moving one to the wing to make room for MacKinnon. But even so, it still doesn’t add up.
Seth Jones is a franchise defenseman. He’s the type of kid who can come in and contribute right away. The Avalanche have some depth in the organization on the blue line, but as solid as their crop of d-men coming through the pipeline are, they don’t have anyone who has that potential to lock down the no. 1 spot on the blue line for the next several years like Jones can.
The Avalanche already had a strong core of offensive talent in place. Why Jones ended up falling to fourth overall doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but it’s especially questionable for an Avalanche club trying to rebuild on the fly. Adding Jones to the blue line would have been the right move.
At least as a positive, fans get to see these two battle it out for years, as realignment will pit them against each other in the yet-to-be-named Conference III. Then we will truly see if the Avalanche actually made the right decision.