The Colorado Avalanche have been an interesting team to follow over the last few years. Once a team with a promising young core who appeared to take a big step under a new coach, they are now often viewed as underachievers from the ice, to the coaching staff, to upper mangement. Their foundation young players are already on the NHL roster, and with no top-pick-superstars coming anytime soon its up to them to take the next step, and the organization to build an environment to make it happen. Neither are a sure thing to happen, and so the upcoming season or two could signal either a step forward or a step in a new direction for the team. Regardless of the team's woes and who comes and goes, a new generation of Avs were drafted and will play a big part in determining the team's success in years to come. With a new AHL coach in town and a push for a new culture of development, these new additions will be a new wave for the franchise:
10th overall – Tyson Jost, C
When nearly every scout compares your top pick to Johnathan Toews, you did well. Jost has a fierce compete level and the playmaking tools to not just mean that in a "he's defensively-responsible" way. A strong shot and excellent passing stemming from his high hockey IQ, Jost can do it all, and has done it all against the best of his peers (while on Team Canada) without a problem. A good bet to make the NHL and be a relied-upon core member.
NCAA next season, NHL in 2017-18 a real possibility if its what he wants.
40th overall – Cam Morrison, W
Another college commit with a strong Team Canada track record, this power forward can score from anywhere on the ice. Has the adaptable shot to shoot from wherever he goes, but luckily likes to find the dirty areas. Plays a heavy game and frees up space on the ice for his linemates. Already has good size; needs skating work but it will come.
NCAA next season, and will turn pro whenever he can be convinced to after that. Likely some AHL time to fine tune his physical game against men.
71st overall – Josh Anderson, D
A shutdown defenceman. Very solid in his own end, eliminating opposing chances via good play-reading and positioning but also with physical play. Wont be overly fantasy relevant due to his lack of offense, which will likely decrease even more as he becomes more specialized in a rearguard role.
Another year in the WHL, then likely AHL bound for a number of years. There are always veteran defensive specialst options so he will have to earn his roster spots.
131st overall – Adam Werner, G
6'5" and 205 lbs. A very big man with solid numbers in competitive Swedish leagues. Also only 19 years old, and with rare exceptions, goalies are long-term development projects. Werner is no exception.
Is AHL eligible and could earn a split situation there next season, but the Avs are in no hurry and will probably let him develop in Sweden barring a phenomenal breakout.
161st overall – Nathan Clurman, D
A local boy with good defensive instincts and can get the puck out of the zone fast with a good pass. Still raw and its too early to judge his talents too harshly. Taking a risk on an big but agile defender who can clear the zone is an ok move by the organization in my books.
Playing Future: Another year at military academy (USHL), then NCAA. A long term project.
191st overall – Travis Barron, W
An agressive, hard-to-play-against winger with good hands but not enough of a scoring touch. Has a hard shot and a good one-timer. Good size at 6'1" but not strong enough yet.