The Colorado Avalanche have found themselves in a great position for the 2015 NHL entry draft, having options aplenty at 10th overall. Over the last several years the Avalanche have drafted some valuable pieces and cornerstones to their franchise.
In 2009, Matt Duchene was taken third overall, followed by Ryan O’Reilly in the second round and Tyson Barrie in the third. Evidently, it was a very successful draft year for Colorado.
In 2011, Gabe Landeskog was selected second overall by the Avs, another great pick. Landeskog was named the youngest captain in NHL history, and it wasn’t just for attention, the kid is a born leader.
In 2013, Nathan MacKinnon was taken first overall by Colorado when everyone thought they were going the Seth Jones route. Another outstanding pick that has brought this team back from the dead.
Also selected in that draft, in the second round, was defenseman Chris Bigras. Bigras finished second overall in OHL scoring by a defenseman, and was named to the OHL First Team All-Stars this past season.
In 2014, Conner Bleackley was selected by the Avalanche at twenty-third overall. The captain of the Red Deer Rebels is looking to be yet another great pick by the Colorado Avalanche.
Now there is always the argument of which philosophy to take when drafting. Do you take the BPA(best player available), or do you go with organizational needs first and foremost? It’s no secret the Avalanche need help on defense, but they also need help getting bigger up front, especially on the wings. And that is exactly what Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are looking to do with their third NHL draft in charge of the club.
Oh, the Possibilities
With the 2015 draft considered to be one of the deepest drafts in league history, Colorado will have a very difficult decision on who to take at tenth overall.
According to draft rankings, Colorado will have the option of selecting one of Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Lawson Crouse, Timo Meier, Ivan Provorov, Mikko Rantanen, Zach Werenski, or Pavel Zacha. All of which would be a solid addition to the team.
The Finn for the Win
Mikko Rantanen, born in Nousiainen, Finland, is a big skilled skater listed at 6’3″ 210 lbs. With added muscle that is sure to come, he will turn into a true force on the ice, something the Avalanche would love to add more of.
This is who the Colorado Avalanche must pick if available. Rantanen finished second in scoring on TPS(Finnish Elite League) with 28 points in 56 games despite being the youngest player on his team. Rantanen is the complete package, with size, skill, and high-end hockey IQ. Oh yeah, and he can snipe that biscuit too.
This kid protects the puck extremely well and with his long reach, is able to go wide on the defense and drive to the net with force. Another box checked on the Avalanche list.
Colorado is very thin when it comes to prospects on either wing. If they added Rantanen however, that would no longer be an area of big concern. With Chris Bigras developing into a fantastic player, plus other solid defensive prospects on the rise, perhaps the Colorado Avalanche would do well to select the big Finnish winger at 10th overall.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble