2011 Draft Recap

With the completion of the 2011 NHL Draft, let’s now look back at the picks made by the Colorado Avalanche.

[caption id="attachment_118" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Gabriel Landeskog gets drafted Second Overall ; Photo by Bruce Bennett, Getty Images"][/caption]

With the second overall pick, the Colorado Avalanche drafted Kitchener Rangers Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog. While defenseman Adam Larsson was in contention, Colorado made the smart pick by drafting Landeskog. He is the most complete player in the draft and can contribute immediately on Duchene’s wing. He plays as a power forward who not only can handle the physical aspects of the NHL and make room for linemates, he can also hold his own talent-wise with Matt Duchene. Landeskog is the early favorite to win the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) playing with Matt Duchene.

While the drafting of Landeskog was somewhat expected, the Avalanche also picked Saskatoon Blades Defenseman Duncan Siemens with the 11th overall pick. Siemens is a safe pick and was one of the better defensemen available. He is a pretty well-rounded defenseman who can be a top-two pairing blueliner is he turns out as projected. He will address Colorado’s lack of blueline depth as early as next year if he has a good training camp. That is not only a testament to Siemens, but also a sleight to Colorado’s depleted group of defensemen.

With Colorado’s remaining four picks, they selected Center Joachim Nermark (93rd overall), Forward Garrett Meurs (123rd overall), Defenseman Gabriel Beaupre (153rd overall), and Defenseman Dillon Donnelly (183rd overall).

After Siemens, the Avalanche could’ve done much better. Big and talented Right Wing Seth Ambroz was still available until the 128th pick.

Colorado also failed to address their goaltending needs. With only Calvin Pickard in the system, the Avs are putting all their eggs in one basket. As anyone around hockey would agree, developing goaltenders are a bit of a crapshoot. At age 18, most junior teams give the majority of the starts to the older, more experienced goalies which makes scouting much more difficult. A smart strategy is to use later-round picks on goaltenders. That way, if they don’t turn out, they didn’t waste a high pick on them.

To Colorado’s credit, Landeskog and Siemens were very good picks. Only time will tell if they turn into great picks.

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