Colorado Avalanche Draft Preview 2000
THE BAD NEWS:
As the Avs head into the 2000 draft, barring any surprise draft day trades, the Avs likely will not end up with a first round pick, any bluechip prospects, or anyone ready to fill holes immediately. The Avs have also lost a good chunk of their depth in the recent trades of Marc Denis and Robyn Reghyr. Other such notable prospects lost (or unsigned) in the last couple of seasons include Peter Ratchuk, Kevin Grimes, Mark Parrish, Martin Grenier, Ramzi Abid, Sami Pahlsson, and most notably, Marc Denis.
THE GOOD NEWS:
The prospect cabinet, though not as impressive as it used to be, is still pretty stocked, and the future is still looking pretty good, despite the loss of some key prospects. The Avs have had great luck finding diamonds in the rough, with such players as David Aebischer, Alex Ryazantsev, Dan Hinote, and Dan Smith. Such players may lack the hype of the players lost in trades or free agency, but they possess a combined work ethic that has made teams like Hershey the envy of the rest of the NHL.
Expect Colorado to take their time in the draft, as they usually tend to shine in the middle rounds. In the past, a good chunk of talent has been taken around the 3rd-5th rounds, finding quality middleman and gritty types of role players. Expect the Avs to explore the European route, and a higher percentage of WHL players to be drafted, as they scouted very heavily in Western League this year. They have been looking at goaltending, as the depth in that area is running dry, leaving Petr Franek, Cassivi, and Philippe Sauve as Hershey’s possible netminders for the 2000-2001 season. The trades of Marc Denis, Brent Johnson, Randy Petruk, and others have left goaltending a important an important void to fill.
The future is still very bright for the organization as a whole, as ownership is expected to sign as many on the free agents as possible. Regarding the draft, you can never really know what to expect with teams in the late first round, as shown with the Kuleshov selection of ’99. That came with the ‘best player’ available tag, and really shocked many of the draft watchers, considering that other players, such as Martin Havlat, were still available.