Colorado Avalanche Off-Season Report Card

By Sean Fitzgerald

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Nathan MacKinnon poses for a photo as he is introduced as the number one overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche: The Avs join the central division from Northwest division in the Western Conference. Their record last season was 16-25-7. They finished last in their division and did not make the playoffs.

Draft results: Last season they took all forwards, this season they took all defensemen. They are strong on defense and goalies in the system.

Round 1:  Nathan Mackinnon Center, Height 6-0, shoot right and weight 183lbs. He was the first overall pick of the draft and 9 rating and C on the Hockey future scale.  He could be a perennial all-star similar but could not ever live up to the number 1 ranking.  Mackinnon was the only offense player taken. He ranks #1 on the center chart.  He is a once and generation talent, I would have still taken Seth Jones with the first pick.

Round 2: Chris Birgas Defenseman, Height 6-0, shoots left and weight 189Lbs. He ranks a 7.5 and C rating by Hockey Future. They added to their strength with another defenseman.  He ranks # 4 on their defense position. When the Avs’ call up prospects this season, he could move up the prospect rankings.

Round 3: Spencer Martin Goalie, Height 6-2, shoots right and weight 192lbs. He ranks a 7.0 and C rating by Hockey Futures. They added more depth to their goalie depth. He ranked #5 at the goalie position. The Avs love his butterfly style but I’m not too keen on his up and down play.

Round 4: Mason Geersten Defenseman, Height 6-4, shoots left and weight 203lbs. He ranks a 6.5 and a C rating by Hockey Future. The size of this defenseman stands out. He is depth player in already deep defensive system. He ranks #6 at the defense position.  He is an intriguing pick, could be one to watch in years to come. He is a stay at home defense which is good but no offensive game to mention.

Round 5: Will Butcher Defenseman, Height 5-11, shoots left and weight 175lbs. He ranks a 7.0 and a D by Hockey Future.  He stated that he is an offensive defenseman.  Solid player that takes risk in the offensive zone, but his positives outweigh his negatives. I think it is a nice pick in the 5th round. He is committed to the University of Denver.

Round 6: Ben Storm Defenseman, Height 6’6, shoots right and Weight 216. He ranks a … and D by Hockey future.  I love this guy’s size; he is huge with capital h. His size is his greatest assets, not much else to offer.

Round 7: Wilhelm Westlund Defenseman, Height 5’11 Weight 184. He is developmental player with a 6.0 and D rating. He could project to bottom end defensive pairing. This guy is a long ways away.  This is what is expected in the later rounds.

Free agent adds/trade adds: Andre Benoit Defenseman

Free agent losses: traded Ryan O’Byrne for a fourth round pick in 2014.

Projection: The Avs had a crazy offseason. Their biggest move was not picking Seth Jones with their first pick, instead they picked MacKinnon. Mackinnon can be a once in generation type player; let’s hope so for the Avs’ sake. There will be a lot pressure on Mackinnon to save the franchise and save it soon. The biggest move they made this offseason was firing Joe Sacco and hiring Patrick Roy as their new coach. Patrick Roy is the new head coach and vice president of hockey operations. Roy is a great goal tender, but I doubt his ability to run a hockey organization. He does have some experience as a vice president in juniors, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the NHL level. I also question his temper because of charges brought against him when he tried to hit the co-owner of Quebec Ramparts.

Offseason Grade: C

What Grade do you give the Av’s?

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