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Sakic reiterates Avalanche will select a forward with first overall pick

Jun 20, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche Introduce Patrick Roy Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche will pick one of the three highly touted forwards at the NHL Entry Draft later this month, something executive vice-president of hockey operations Joe Sakic confirmed with ESPN.com on Thursday.

This would mean that the Avalanche would decline the storybook selection of defenseman Seth Jones, who has connections to the Denver area.

“He’s a great player, he’s going to be good,” Sakic told ESPN.com about Jones and the draft process of his hockey club.

“But after we had our internal meetings we came up with these three forwards, (Nathan) McKinnon, (Jonathan) Drouin and (Alexander) Barkov. We’re really leaning towards one of those three forwards.”

Earlier this week, Sakic told the Denver Post essentially the same thing. Then again, his comments would make it seem like the Avalanche are open to the idea of a trade.

“If we do pick first, we’re leaning more toward one of those three forwards,” Sakic told the Denver Post.

Last month, after a dominating performance at the Memorial Cup, forward Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads moved to the No. 1 spot of the International Scouting Services draft rankings.

  1. bcisleman - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Again, he said they were “leaning” toward the forwards. He’s trying to make news.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      it’s nice to see a GM start fishing this early.

      I do think Mackinnon is the guy if you don’t want to spend the #1 on Jones.

      You honestly can’t go wrong with either but if Jones does develop into the player he “looks” like he can become, they will regret not picking him. That said, the safer pick is with Mackinnon and should be able to reward the Avs next season with his style of play.

      Like always with these draft, time will tell. Look at the 2011 draft already for a quick example, #10 Brodin is clearly looking like the best selection of them all….. anything can happen and this draft is mirroring the 2003 – there will be plenty of great picks for several teams. If Calgary doesn’t move up (which they shouldn’t), they could look back at this draft as what turned the corner for them once and for all.

      The team to watch for me is Columbus. I would be very excited if I was a Blue Jackets fan. Congrats to them for being VERY patient

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        You don’t think McKinnon’s development will equal that of Jones? He would have to be a ‘Bobby Orr’ type of D man for him to be drafted a head of McKinnon, and as good as he is now, and will be in the future years he will never be the player you regretted not choosing. Again, don’t get me wrong. Jones has excellent skills worthy of 1 or 2 pick if McKinnon was not there.

  2. hockeyflow33 - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Why lose bargaining power and divulge this information?

    • lordfletcher - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      it can increase the poker chips if a team wants Mackinnon, especially if it’s Florida / Tampa / Nashville.

      If Colorado is interested in Jones, they can trade down for him (potentially) and get another future 1st or top 2nd rounder + prospects, yada yada yada…

      All this is doing is opening the doors for trade offers. That is NEVER a bad thing.

      So I disagree, kindly :)

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        I think you’ve now increased the value of the 2nd pick more than the 1st if you’re a team looking for Jones

      • lordfletcher - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        who’s to say Sakic is telling the truth?

        If he is, then yes, Florida can field as many calls on Jones as they want as long as they are not interested and or for the right price.

        if Sakic is fishing to lure Floriday or Tampa to trade up, he is doing very well so far as a young GM. We won’t know till draft day most likely but to think that Calgary has already stupidly offered (not saying it was bad value, just stupid to think that Calgary believes one guy is going to turn their team around)… 3 first round picks for the chance to get Mackinnon….

        The price is set at something better than #6, #22 and #28 in this years draft. That tells me Sakic wants a top prospect and draft picks if he is going to move down and most likely he doesn’t want to fall out of the top 4 making sure he gets one of Mackinnon, Drouin, Barkov or Jones.

        Let’s say Nashville went above and beyond making an offer, it would have to be the #4 and Forsberg to get Colorado’s interested or the #4 plus a 2014 1st and this years #34 (maybe more). Something to those degrees.

        Moving up in the NHL draft isn’t like other sports. They are highly overpriced and top 3 picks are considered franchise picks. This year there are 4 by the looks of things right from the get go.

        I am just shaking my head that us Wild fans don’t have our 1st round pick this year. I am so depressed. I would have loved to see Fletcher offer Colorado or Florida the #16 and Granlund to have a chance at getting Mackinnon (drool on the Wilds roster) or Jones (also drooling over the thought of him in a Wild sweater… but those dreams are like mine of winning the Powerball, worthless. :) cheers amigos

  3. thedavesiknowiknow - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Playing poker- nobody calls their shot like this without an endgame. I like his style.

  4. ray2013 - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    What are they going to do? I don’t know!!

    Actually, I think we do. From all the draft previews I’ve seen, MacKinnon is the second coming of John Tavares, elite NHL center, with projections of 40 goals, 50 assists. A very solid, very excellent choice for whoever lands him. But the projections for Seth Jones has him rated as the highest defensive prospect since Chris Pronger. If it’s even remotely accurate, you pencil the smooth-skating 6’4, 208 lb future captain on your blueline for the next 15 years.

    I think it’s a nice little game to get people thinking about the Avalanche draft; and the pretend intrigue of who they’ll pick. But my money is on Jones.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    A player like Jones can impact a team in so many ways. Every team wants him and Sakic knows it. He’s just trying to get somebody to offer up half their team/farm for that first pick. It could happen.

  6. uscthom78 - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    CanaCaus bias.

  7. kingsforever - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    We’re picking a Canadian over an American
    – Joe Sakic, the Canadian

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      I doubt Sakic is that simplistic. I’m Canadian and I’d take Jones on my team in a second. So would Joe, unless he can get a ton of talent in exchange for the right to pick Jones.

  8. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    If true and not a smokescreen, Florida has an interesting decision. Jones would definitely be BPA, but they do have a lot of defensive depth in their system. Could they possibly take Drouin over Jones? Highly doubt it, but as a Lightning fan I’m hoping desperately that Jones somehow drops to #3.

    • Windmiller4 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      If i was a lightning fan i’d be more than happy with Drouin slipping to third. Imagine him and Stamkos on the same line

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        This would be a lethal duo for sure. Drouin is one of the best passers in the QJMHL, if not CHL.

  9. hockeydon10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Do the Avs really have that much defensive talent in their prospect pool? I thought lack of great defensive talent was one of the problems they ran into after their lop-sided trade with St. Louis.

    Defense wins championships. We’ve seen the Oilers pick forward after forward after forward and they still don’t make the playoffs. You’d think teams in full-on rebuild mode would start with defense and goaltenders (who often take longer to develop), then pick up forwards so they’re all hitting their peak at the same time.

  10. herc883 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Brodin is clearly the best 1st round pick in 2011? Ever heard of Landeskog and RNH? A little early to be calling that one

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