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. 11-15:
15. Philip Broberg | LHD | AIK (Allsvenskan)
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Broberg is one of the more powerful skaters in the draft, but he’s relatively smooth and agile on the ice. Scouts also rave about his hockey IQ, as he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. That helps make up for what are typically described as mediocre puck-handling skills. His combination of size and skating ability is unique, however, which make him an intriguing prospect.
14. Cameron York | LHD | US National U18 Team (USDP)
York is mostly a playmaking defenseman, as scouts rave about his ability to handle the puck, distribute to teammates and jump into the action, especially on the power play. And his numbers with the US National U18 Team support those claims, as he racked up 65 points in 63 games playing in USA Hockey’s developmental program. At 6-foot, 175 pounds, the University of Michigan commit certainly isn’t going to be an enforcer.
13. Alex Newhook | C | Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
Newhook dominated the BCHL, racking up 102 points in just 53 games, putting him head and shoulders ahead of the competition. The center is effective because of his world-class speed, as he seems to have a different gear than others on the ice. But it’s not just his ability to move from one spot to another quickly, it’s the fact that Newhook can operate at top speed in an effective manner that makes him such a deadly scorer.
12. Victor Soderstrom | RHD | Brynas IF (SHL)
A true two-way defenseman, Soderstrom is able to transition from zone to zone in an effortless manner. He’s a good skater, can turn on a dime, handles the puck well and makes precise outlet passes. Defensively, he can hold his own, despite checking in at just 6-foot and 183 pounds. But the thing that most scouts rave about is Soderstrom’s competitive nature; it allows him to be a game-changer in multiple ways, despite some physical limitations.
11. Vasili Podkolzin | RW | St. Petersburg (KHL)
Scouting reports use include phrases like “aggressive,” “confrontational,” “tenacious” and “on the edge” to describe Podkolzin’s style of play, which is to say he’ll bring it on a nightly basis. He’s a complete, two-way player who uses an quick wrist shot to score goals. Given that his stats don’t jump off the page, some teams may shy away from the young Russian, but almost everyone who has seen him in action thinks he’ll be a solid NHL player.
Previous Lists: 16-20
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