The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.
Next up, we have the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche are being represented by Nadia Archuleta from MileHighSticking.com.
- G – Semyon Varlamov
- F – Matt Duchene
- F – Gabriel Landeskog
- F – Nathan MacKinnon
- F – John Mitchell
- F – Jack Skille
- F – Dennis Everberg
- F – Cody McLeod
- F – Carl Soderberg
- F – Mikhail Grigorenko
- D – Erik Johnson
- D – Tyson Barrie
- D – Nikita Zadorov
- D – Brandon Gormley
- D – Nick Holden
Analysis from MileHighSticking.com:
Too 1990s for you? Fine.
Goalie: Semyon Varlamov — head coach Patrick Roy has stated again and again that Varlamov is the Avalanche’s #1 goalie. He had a fantastic 2013-14 season, during which he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. He still shows flashes of that brilliance.
Our five defensemen are the following:
Erik Johnson: Our entire defense is based on his play. He’s a sharp two-way defenseman in the prime of his career.
Tyson Barrie: Our offensive defense is based on Barrie. He’s a playmaker, and he might have it in him to be an elite scoring defenseman.
Nikita Zadorov: You mess with the Avalanche, you get Big Z. Both Roy and GM Joe Sakic have said that Zadorov is a long-term project for the team. He’s big, he’s an excellent skater and he likes to hit. He’s also got some offensive upside.
Brandon Gormley: He’s another long-term project by the team. He has great defensive positioning and maintains his poise under pressure.
Nick Holden: He’s shown a lot of improvement over the last couple seasons. He’s skating really well, and his defensive game has gotten good.
Our nine forwards:
Matt Duchene: Despite a streaky nature, Matt Duchene is an exciting player. We’re ever optimistic his breakout season is just around the corner.
Gabriel Landeskog: He’s our captain. He’s also turning into one hell of a power forward. When he’s not scoring, he’s making plays, hitting and fighting, And then he’s scoring.
Nathan MacKinnon: Duh. He’s the future of our franchise. More than any other player he has it in him to be a superstar.
John Mitchell: He’s a solid third line center. He’s great at winning faceoffs. He’s also chippy, which is part of the Colorado Avalanche’s identity.
Jack Skille: He’s a hard worker. After making the team on a PTO, he’s really shown his worth.
Dennis Everberg: Because if I didn’t protect him I’d be drummed out of Avs Nation. Also, he’s early on in his career. He’s got lots to learn, but he’s clearly learning it.
Cody McLeod: He’s our alternate captain. The players, fans and coaches love him. Plus, if he doesn’t fight, MacKinnon will — and we don’t want to risk those precious hands.
Carl Soderberg: Can’t win a faceoff to save his life. However, he’s been developing a decent defensive game for the Avs, leaving Duchene free to skate footloose and fancy free.
Mikhail Grigorenko: He’s young, and he has such exciting scoring potential. Thus far he’s also cheap, so we’ve got nothing to lose.
So, I left defenseman Francois Beauchemin unprotected because he’s aging and expensive, so I’m gambling the Las Vegas Lounge Lizards won’t want him. Actually, that’s why I left Alex Tanguay and jarome Iginla unprotected. Blake Comeau‘s great, but I couldn’t choose him over the above guys.
Seriously, take Stuart and Guenin as a two-for-one. (That’s a Vegas thing, right?)
The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.
To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.