On June 21-22, the 57th NHL Entry Draft will be held in Vancouver. Across those two days, the Avalanche are currently slated to make eight selections, but it’s the first round that will get the most attention; Colorado holds the No. 4 and 16 overall picks, giving them two high-profile choices.
Who will they pick? No one knows for sure what Joe Sakic and Company have in mind, as the Avs current roster doesn’t have any glaring holes that would necessitate a “need” pick by the general manager. Thus, going the “best player available” route seems the most likely for Colorado.
That being the case, evaluating the talent on the board will provide a road map to who the Avalanche might take when they’re on the clock. Leading up to the draft, 1043TheFan.com will break down the top-20 players available, two of whom will most likely be headed to Colorado on June 21.
Next up… Nos. 6-10:
10. Matthew Boldy | LW | US National U18 Team (USDP)
At 6-foot, 175 pounds, Boldy is the perfect size for an end-to-end player. And he has the skills to match his physical traits. The No. 1 things that jumps out about his game is his level of creativity; he sees the game differently than most players. Boldy is also silky smooth with his puck handling, passing and skating, making him a joy to watch. He also has a stealthy release, which helped him score 33 goals, to go with 48 assists, in 64 games with the U.S. National U18 Team.
9. Peyton Krebs | LW / C | Kootenay Ice (WHL)
Despite playing on a bad team in the WHL, Krebs was still able to shine, averaging more than a point per game with the Ice. That’s because of his skills and smarts, the combination that has scouts excited about his game. Offensively, Krebs sees the game in a way that opens up opportunities for himself and teammates. And defensively, he seems to always be in the right position and avoids penalties despite playing a physical brand of hockey.
8. Cole Caufield | C / RW | US National U18 Team (USDP)
In 64 games with the US National U18 Team, Caufield scored 72 goals and dished out 28 assists to record a whopping 100 total points. That kind of offensive talent is special, which has people excited about Caufield’s game; he’s a rare player. He’s an absolute sniper, possessing the best shot in the draft. The only downside to Caufield is his size; at 5-foot-7, 163 pounds, he’s going to have to use his skating skills to avoid the big hits of the NHL.
7. Kirby Dach | C | Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Standing 6-foot-4, Dach seems to tower over the competition when on skates. He’s a big, strong player who uses those skills to his advantage, charging the net to score goals and protecting the puck before setting up teammates. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he makes up for that with a high hockey IQ and great vision. Dach is also a solid puck handler and a better skater than most players his size. Teams will have a hard time passing on his physical tools.
6. Dylan Cozens | C / RW | Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Cozens is a menace on the ice, in the best possible way. At 6-foot-3, 183 pounds, he has the size to become an elite forward. Combine that with tremendous speed and a bazooka-like shot, and he’s difficult for opponents to contain. Some scouts are scared off by his team’s results, but that’s searching for a negative; he’s a great player who will shine at the NHL level. Cozens has no weaknesses that can’t be addressed with coaching and experience.
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