Great draft for Avs include two top prospects and some potential sleepers
Avs draft big!
The Colorado Avalanche had an injury filled season that ended with them finishing with the second worst record in the NHL. However, the light at the end of the tunnel occurred at the draft where the Avs had two top 15 picks as well as the number 2 pick. Giving the Avs two top 5 picks in the last three years as well as a few other good draft picks. You have to say the rebuild is going quick and we could see the Avs climb back to the top with their recent player additions. This years draft will be looked back on as a huge part of a turn around if it happens soon.
With the number 2 pick the Avs selected Swedish power forward Gabriel Landeskog. Lando was exactly what the Avs needed so desperately after the Eric Johnson and Chris Stewart trade last season. Landeskog brings a high working, good character guy to an already decent lineup when healthy. Landeskog is going to be amazing on a line with Matt Duchene, and look to see Landeskog start sticking up for Duchene when the other teams are gunning for him like they have in the past. Lando can also put the puck in the net and play a two way roll that teams love to have. I loved all the mic'd up videos they had of him for the draft, but the best one was from Landeskog meeting the teams personel. Two highlights are when he meets Joe Sakic and he says I'm Joe Sakic... (Like Lando doesn't know!) and when Rick Pracey talks about how he told Lando they would find a way to get him. This vid doesn't have the talk with Pracey, but is great!
With the 11th pick the Avs addressed another need with a player that is really going to help out: Duncan Seimens. Seimens is a 6'2" 200 Lb defensmen that should step up and be a replacement for Adam Foote in the near future. After a slew of drafts where the Avs picked under sized defensmen, I was happy to see a big guy like Duncan coming to the team. I was worried the Avs might take Ryan Murphy at that spot, but Duncan was my pick and the eventual pick at that spot.
Another good pick I felt was another Swedish player: Joachim Nermark. Nermark was projected to go in the first round near the midway rankings. However due to some injuries he dropped out of the first. So for the Avs to get him in the 4th I felt was a very low risk high reward move. We will have to see if he ever makes his mark on the team.
After the Liles trade, the Avs were nearly 20 million under the salary cap floor. This means the Avs will be forced to be big spenders in free agency, all but guaranteeing the Avs will make a huge push for Thomas Vokoun. Who else the Avs try to grab is a question mark, and their is still no sign of resigning Thomas Fleishmann. It will be interesting when July 1st hits just how quickly Vokoun might be signed. We will see.