The Colorado Avalanche had eight selections at the 2010 NHL Draft, and only three players still remain with the organization. It is still unclear how big or little the draft will have an impact on the organization going forward but Joey Hishon and Calvin Pickard still have time to show that the 2010 class was not a complete dud.
Joey Hishon, C, Owen Sound Attack (OHL) – 1st round, 17th overall
NHL Games Played: 13
Joey Hishon’s selection at 17th overall was seen as a stretch by many due to his pre-draft rankings. Various media outlets had him pegged for late in late first round or even in the second round. He quickly answered his critics the following season by posting 87 points in 50 regular season games for the Owen Sound Attack and 24 more in 22 playoff games. Unfortunately, his junior career was abruptly ended when he was on the receiving end of an illegal hit to the head in the 2011 Memorial Cup Tournament.
Hishon would not play another hockey game for nearly two years until he was cleared to play for the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avalanche’s now former AHL affiliate, in the spring of 2013. In nine games, he scored one goal and assisted on five others for six points, giving many hopes that he was returning to form.
The next season, he scored 24 points in just 50 games for the Monsters due to a series of injuries unrelated to the concussion he sustained in 2011. He got his first taste of NHL action in the 2014 playoffs when he was called up to play in the Avalanche’s first round matchup against the Minnesota Wild. In three games, he saw limited ice time on the third and fourth lines but managed to register one assist.
Hishon started the 2014-15 season playing for the Monsters and was told he would need to work on his play away from the puck in order for him to return to Denver. Nearly the whole year went by before Hishon finally received his call-up. In 13 games, he scored one goal and assisted on one other for two points.
It is still unclear where he fits in with the team’s long term plans as he will face tough competition for playing time if he remains at center. Hishon’s best hope for staying in Colorado would come should Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy see the need for an offensive player like Hishon for his third and fourth lines, but Roy has been trending towards bigger players who can play a punishing style of hockey.
Calvin Pickard, G, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – 2nd round, 49th overall
NHL Games Played: 16
Calvin Pickard picked an excellent time to shine when there was nothing but doom and gloom surrounding an underachieving Avalanche squad. The high-powered offense was struggling to find chemistry and the already porous defense was allowing more scoring opportunities against than the league average. To add to their troubles, starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov suffered a setback to his groin injury while backup goaltender Reto Berra was not playing up to expectations.
Pickard entered the November 22nd contest against the Carolina Hurricanes in relief of Berra and he helped backstop the Avalanche to two come-from-behind victories, the first against the Hurricanes and then against the Arizona Coyotes three nights later. In those two games, he stopped all 42 shots he faced in 95 minutes of playing time.
The Moncton, NB native actually saw his first NHL call-up a little over a month before where he played two uninspiring games, both of which were losses. Not to be deterred, Pickard brushed aside those two bad games and for the next month singlehandedly put the Avalanche back into the playoff conversation.
In 16 appearances, he stopped 476 shots he faced for a save percentage of .932 while posting a goals-against average of 2.35. His 6-7-3 record is not reflective of his amazing play for the short stretch from late November to the middle of January.
Pickard has given Berra a lot of competition for that number two spot behind Varlamov in Denver.
Michael Bournival, F, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) – 3rd round, 71st overall
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 89
Shortly after being drafted by the Avalanche, Michael Bournival was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Ryan O’Byrne. Bournival remained in the QMJHL with the Cataractes for two more seasons before making the jump to the AHL to play for the Hamilton Bulldogs for the 2012-13 season. He traveled with the Canadiens during the 2013 playoffs but did not appear in any games.
The following season, Bournival appeared in his first NHL game on October 5th, 2013 and scored his first NHL goal on October 13th, against Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bournival played for the Canadiens for the entire 2013-14 season with the exception of a three-game stint when he was sent down to the Bulldogs. He was quickly called back up and saw his first NHL playoff action that season.
Bournival has played a total of 89 regular season games and 14 playoff games in the NHL – the most out of any player from the Avalanche’s 2010 draft class.
Stephen Silas, D, Belleville Bulls (OHL) – 4th round, 95th overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Stephen Silas played five years in the OHL for the Belleville Bulls, amassing 164 points in 324 games. After scoring 49 points in 66 games in his second year, he was selected 95th overall by the Avalanche. He was not offered a contract by the NHL team and is currently playing college hockey for the University of Waterloo Warriors where he is in the Legal Studies program.
Sami Aittokallio, G, Ilves Jr. (Finland) – 4th round, 107th overall
NHL Games Played: 2
Finnish netminder Sami Aittokallio currently sits fourth on the Avalanche’s goaltending depth chart. He appeared in his first NHL game late in the 2013 season against the Los Angeles Kings and played 49 minutes, giving up two goals on 25 shots. The next season, he was called up to the Avalanche and was the starter in the January 25th matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning where he was pulled after two periods of play. In that game, he gave up three goals on 18 shots.
Aittokallio was sent down to the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL this past season for four games. In those four games, he posted a save percentage of .823 to go along with 4.90 goals-against average, but still managed to win three of the four games he started.
There is a chance Aittokallio could see additional time in the ECHL next season with the arrival of the Avalanche’s 2013 third round draft choice, Spencer Martin, who is ready to make his professional debut.
Troy Rutkowski, D, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – 5th round, 137th overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Troy Rutkowski spent five seasons with the Portland Winterhawks and in his final season served as team captain for the 2013 WHL Championship-winning squad. Rutkowski and the Winterhawks made it all the way to the championship game of the 2013 Memorial Cup where they lost to current Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and the Halifax Mooseheads.
In March of 2013, Rutkowski signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent. He has split the last two seasons between the Binghamton Senators and their ECHL affiliates.
Luke Walker, RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – 5th round, 139th overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Luke Walker was 20 years old when he was drafted by the Avalanche in 2010. He immediately made the jump to the AHL the season after and spent three years with the Lake Erie Monsters before going overseas to play in Europe.
Luke Moffatt, F, U.S. National Development Team (USHL) – 7th round, 197th overall
NHL games Played: 0
Arizona native Luke Moffatt played four years in the NCAA for the University of Michigan Wolverines where he earned many academic accolades. After the conclusion of his collegiate hockey career, he spent short stints in Europe playing in Sweden and Norway’s top leagues. He ended his 2014-15 season with the Newcastle North Stars of the Australian Ice Hockey League.
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