Friday, May 29, 2009
Offseason Needs (Part 1)
This is how the Avs offseason needs to go.
DRAFT: Emphasis on forwards.
Look, if Hedman is still around at number 3, he has to be taken obviously. But other than that, the Avs first three picks should all be used to draft forwards. Colorado's defensive depth is one of the best in the league, but forward depth is one of the worst. That could change by drafting Matt Duchene and perhaps a player like Drew Shore early in the 2nd round. There are a few good goalie options likely to be available early in the 2nd round (such as Olivier Roy), but the Avs have drafted a 2nd round goalie two years in a row; let's see if one of them (them being Cann and Delmas) pan out before drafting another goalie over a good forward (like Oscar Moller, who Cann was taken before).
Some notable forwards drafted early in the 2nd round over the last 5 drafts are James Neal (33rd overall, 2005), Dave Bolland (32nd overall, 2004), Loui Eriksson (33rd overall, 2003), Patrice Bergeron (45th overall, 2003), and of course Paul Stastny (44th overall, 2005).
The only notable goalies drafted early in the 2nd round over the last 5 drafts is Ondrej Pavelec (41st overall, 2005). This is why I think it's a waste to draft a goalie in the 2nd round; only one guy has even made a name for himself and he only has 6 career NHL wins. Scouts rave about him, so it remains to be seen how good he is.
I think the Avs may want to think about drafting a 6th or 7th round goalie. At that point, the draft becomes a crap shoot, and some of the best goalies in the league today have been drafted late in drafts. That list includes:
Khabibulin (204th overall, 1992)
Turco (124th overall, 1994)
Thomas (217th overall, 1994)
Nabokov (219th overall, 1994)
Vokoun (226th overall, 1994)
Toskala (90th overall, 1995)
Kipprusoff (116th overall, 1995)
C. Mason (122nd overall, 1995)
Miller (138th overall, 1999)
Lundqvist (205th overall, 2000)
Smith (161st overall, 2001)
Huet (214th overall, 2001)
Gerber (232nd overall, 2001)
Rinne (258th overall, 2004)
That's insane. It's safe to say almost all (the exceptions being Gerber and possibly Huet) of those goalies are starters, and my list has 14 goalies on it. To say that over a 3rd of the starters in the league today are guys who essentially came out of no where is a little hard to process, but it's reality. That list also leave out some other starting goalies who weren't even drafted: Dwayne Roloson, Niklas Backstrom, and Jonas Hiller. So, Avalanche executives...you know that seemingly useless 8th round draft pick you have? Yeah...might want to consider using it on a goalie.
Part two (Free Agency) coming soon.