Three Players The Avalanche Should Avoid At 24 In The NHL Draft

Colorado Hockey Now

Every NHL team, when putting together their rankings, also puts together a “do not draft” list for their team. Players make it onto those lists for various reasons. Maybe they’ve got off-ice issues that simply can’t be ignored. Maybe they can’t skate and the team thinks it will hold that player back from taking that next step. Or maybe they just can’t think the game at a high enough level. For whatever reason, teams try to avoid certain players.

The prospect pool for the Colorado Avalanche is lacking talent and depth, but there are certain principles they should stand by at that 24th pick. Their list of players to avoid at the NHL Draft is likely different than mine, but here’s three I think the Avalanche should stay away from with the 24th pick.

W/C Trevor Connelly

Looking strictly at just talent alone, Connelly would probably be a top 10 pick. His hands are ridiculous and his skating is top notch. That’s not why there are some NHL teams out there that simply won’t take him.

The reason why some teams will avoid him have to do with some off-ice issues that have followed him. They are…unpleasant to read. The two situations are extremely different, and Colorado might not even have the chance to pick Connelly at 24 (I think he goes before their pick), but given what has happened with Valeri Nichushkin the last two postseasons, drafting someone with some off-ice concerns wouldn’t make much sense to me. Connelly would almost certainly become the most talented prospect in Colorado’s system, but I don’t think it would be worth it. I’d steer clear of him. The things I’ve heard when digging around aren’t great.

C Julius Miettinen

There are a few big centers that could be available around 24, and if I’m being honest, none of them really excite me. I could be convinced with Cole Beaudoin or Sacha Boisvert, but Miettinen doesn’t do it for me. He’s a massive guy, coming in at 6’3″ and over 200 pounds, but I’m always leery of these big guys who dominate in Juniors. Are they maxed out? Is there much room for growth? I have similar concerns about Beaudoin, but I’d take a chance on him over a guy like Miettinen at 24.

D E.J. Emery and Charlie Elick

Okay, picking two is kind of cheating, but they’re both very similar players.

For two big guys, both are fantastic skaters and defend really well. That’s not the concern here. There’s definitely value in big defensemen that can move, but you have to have some puck skill to play in the NHL now. I’m still not sure either of these guys have enough puck skill to justify taking them at 24. Heck, Emery played almost 100 games and didn’t score a single goal. I don’t mind either as prospects, and of the two, prefer Emery, but I’d feel much more comfortable if one of these two is selected after trading down and grabbing another asset.

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