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Sakic, Roy leaning towards MacKinnon for top pick

Jun 25, 2013, 9:03 AM EDT

Joe Sakic Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations of the Colorado Avalanche addresses the media as Patrick Roy is introduced as the new Head Coach/Vice President of Hockey Operations of the Colorado Avalanche during a press conference at the Pepsi Center on May 28, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
(May 27, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Last week, Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said his team would either deal the top pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft or select a forward.

Now he’s adding that if the draft were held today, he would specifically take Nathan MacKinnon, according to Xfinity Monday Live via the Denver Post.

“But we still have some time,” he cautioned. Among other things, Sakic is still open to trading the pick for the right price.

New Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy seems to be on the same page.

“It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon,” Roy told ESPN The Magazine. “MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow.”

Roy added that he thinks it would be “perfect” for MacKinnon to start as the team’s third line center in 2013-14 because it would take a bit of the pressure off of him.

Of course, the big question mark is if the Avalanche are bluffing. After all, Seth Jones has the potential to develop into a top-tier defenseman and those are hard to come by.

The Tampa Bay Lightning hold the third overall pick and aren’t sure what the Avalanche will end up doing.

“I think it’s smart of (Sakic) putting up a little controversy to get conversation going and people thinking,” Lightning head amateur scout Darryl Plandowski said. “I saw one comment where someone said, ‘That’s a big smokescreen,’ and that might be.”

The draft will be held on Sunday.

  1. hallsy86 - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Draft Mackinnon and trade Stastny for the defenseman they need!

    • polegojim - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      I would agree with that… he has the most ‘supposed’ potential and would have the best trade value.

      It’s time for Hejduk to hang-em up… and Jones… needs to figure out how to play NHL Hockey again.

  2. DonkeyStick - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM


  3. gotampabay52 - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    give Tampa Seth Jones

  4. Woody Bass - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Sakic is a liar. Prove me wrong. Please i beg that you let Seth fall to the Lightning.

    • jl9830 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Prove that he’s a liar first.

      • Woody Bass - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        I will Sunday. :)

      • 19to77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Pretty sure you’re not Joe Sakic, but don’t let that stop you from taking credit for his draft decisions days before they happen.

  5. mclovinhockey - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Smart move, overload your O and have horrible D. Sakic isn’t even into his first year yet and already is making bad moves

    • jl9830 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Since when do you draft 18-year olds based on your current needs? Also, of every defenseman ever picked first overall, there’s one guy with a great career- Denis Potvin almost 40 years ago. Just look at D-men picked top 5 the past, say, ten years, and forwards drafted top 5. D-men are much more of a mixed bag (yes Pietrangelo, but also Thomas Hickey). Forwards are pretty safe this high up in a draft. As an Islanders fan, trust me- I’m not regretting that we picked Tavares over Hedman, who many scouts were saying was the best D prospect in years.

    • valarmorghuliss - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      You’re such a clueless poster. Every time you post your opinion it’s just a failure at understanding hockey.

    • 19to77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Hey, mclovin, he hasn’t actually made a single move yet. All he’s done is screw with people’s heads. Maybe he picks Jones after all. Who knows? He’s in the driver’s seat, he can take whoever he wants. And if he doesn’t, he takes a guy scouts compare to Crosby. Gee, what terrible decision-making.

  6. bcisleman - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    To my knowledge, they have never made a definitive statement. It’s always they’re leaning. We’ll see.

  7. mikebel11 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Does anyone in this site even watch junior hockey or are you all going by the media fairy tale ending of Seth Jones getting drafted by his hometown team? Mackinnon and Drouin are every bit as worthy of the top pick as jones is. Both absolutely dominated the junior ranks this year, including the world junior championship. And in their two meetings with Jones at the memorial cup routinely beat him wide on the rush and out battled him in the corners. So muh so that mackinnon regained the top spot in the ISS rankings. The object of the draft is to find the best payer available and when you have the first pick it needs to be the best player available to help your team immediately. All this crap about Seth Jones having the potential to be a top defenseman doesn’t automatically make him the top pick. Alexandre Daigle had the potential to be a top centre, how’d that work out? At number one you take the player who most improves your team now so maybe next year you won’t have to pick first again.

    • timmeh022 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      I really think it’s a win win for Colorado. They want MacKinnon, they’ll get him. That OR Feaster will be dumb enough to offer up even more to trade up and grab MacKinnon and give Colorado what they want in return for the #1 overall pick.

      Well played, Sakic.

    • kcbruinsfan - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I think the argument in favor of Jones is that he has the potential to be an anchor on the blue line for years to come. I don’t think the argument is whether or not Jones is better than Mackinnon or Drouin, but whether a top D talent is more rare than top offensive talent. A top 2 Dman is a more difficult commodity to come by, but it is also a longer term project. Mackinnon and Drouin may be able to step right in and contribute immediately, while a defensive player generally takes a few years to develop and mature as a player at the pro level. Look at Adam Larson and Dougie Hamilton. Still progressing, but not yet meeting their full potential. Top offensive players are able to come in ands contribute immediately.

      Question for the Avs is whether they want to commit several years of development into Jones or seek a top tier talent capable of contributing immediately. Thought may be to get the offensive player who fans can see and appreciate immediately and look to free agency to address glaring holes in the defensive corps. Any of the top 3 are going to be excellent players, the D route requires more time, and typically is a riskier undertaking.

      • jl9830 - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Defensemen are much more risky as well, so they would devote yeras of development on Jones to maybe not even get a top-notch defenseman.

        Whereas with MacKinnon, they’re pretty much guaranteed an immediately successful forward who will only get better and better.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        I highly doubt Sakic would be willing to deal with Calgary. They have the 5th selection don’t they?

        I forget, Colorado / Florida / Tampa …. is it Calgary or Carolina? …. just thought of it, the preds have #4

        this draft is top 4 potential elite heavy but there will be plenty of greats found in the top 3 rounds. I would assume Colorado wouldn’t trade past the press making sure they get mackinnon / Jones / drouin or Barkov.

        Tampa isn’t moving up and I doubt Florida and preds Piole / poile (how do you spell his name) is willing to deal some of their d prospects and forsberg and or 2014 1st Rounders. I see Colorado staying put and drafting mackinnon and trading some forwards for D help. No matter Colorado isn’t winning the cup next year, so they’ll draft plenty of D in the 2d and 3rd rounds.

    • andidee15 - Jun 26, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      Another thing to keep in mind is that while the Avs’ D at the NHL level is horrific, our defensive prospect system is actually fairly strong. We already have 3 good prospects (Duncan Siemens, Stefan Elliott, and Gus Young (Yale’s top pair)), 2 longer-shots (Gabriel Beaupre and Markus Lauridsen) and 3 NHL regulars under the age of 26 (Erik Johnson, Ryan Wilson, and Tyson Barrie). Our issue is that we need a Top 4 defenseman RIGHT NOW, not another prospect. Not even Jones is good enough to fix us yet.

      On the other hand, our Top 6 forward system consists of Michael Sgarbossa and oft-concussed Joey Hishon outside of the NHL. Yes, we have a bunch of good young players already on the team, but organizationally, forward is where we’re weakest. Roy knows what he’s getting in MacKinnon or Drouin, and he’s already planning on moving O’Reilly to Duchene’s wing if we take Mac. System depth-wise, a high-ranked forward actually makes more sense than a defenseman for us.

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