As we approach Wednesday’s opening rounds of the 2023 NHL Draft at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, now is a great time to remember some of the Colorado Avalanche’s best picks of the past 10 years.
The 2023 draft marks a potential pivot point for Avs’ GM Joe Sakic, who is tasked with reloading Colorado’s roster after the team’s 2022 Stanley Cup title run followed by a first-round defeat at the hands of the Seattle Kraken.
Despite the early knockout this season, Colorado sports betting sites still have the Avs as 2024 Stanley Cup favorites at +800.
As for this year’s draft, analysts at NHL.com see Colorado taking Michigan Wolverines center Gavin Brindley or Swedish center David Edstrom with the team’s 27th overall pick.
Ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, BetColorado.com broke down which Avalanche picks have contributed the most value to the club on the ice since 2013, using the point shares figures that Hockey-Reference.com calculates to determine our list.
Avs’ Most Valuable Draft Picks Since 2013
- Nate MacKinnon (2013, 1st pick): 709 games played, 284 goals, 459 assists (759 points), 87.4 point shares
- Mikko Rantanen (2015, 10th pick): 490 games played, 220 goals, 293 assists (513 points), 59.1 point shares
- Cale Makar (2017, 4th pick): 238 games played, 65 goals, 181 assists (246 points), 40.7 point shares
- Will Butcher (2013, 123rd pick): 275 games played, 16 goals, 98 assists (114 points), 16.1 point shares
- Tyson Jost (2016, 10th pick): 413 games played, 54 goals, 80 assists (134 points), 8.9 point shares
- Bowen Byram (2019, 4th pick): 91 games played, 15 goals, 28 assists (43 points), 7.9 point shares
- Alex Newhook (2019, 16th pick): 159 games played, 27 goals, 39 assists (66 points), 5.6 point shares
- Spencer Martin (2013, 63rd pick): 38 games played, 14-17-5, .885 save %, 3.63 GAA, 4.1 point shares
- Conor Timmins (2017, 32nd pick): 66 games played, 2 goals, 19 assists (21 points), 3.1 point shares
- A.J. Greer (2015, 39th pick): 108 games played, 7 goals, 13 assists (20 points), 1.3 point shares
BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado has taken the first pick in the NHL Draft off the board — Connor Bedard is expected to go to Chicago at No. 1.
Who Have Been Avs’ Most Valuable Picks?
Colorado’s lone top overall pick since 2013 (Nate MacKinnon) has also been the team’s most valuable draftee over the last decade — with MacKinnon chipping in 87.4 point shares since joining the Avs in 2013 as an 18-year-old.
MacKinnon was one of four Colorado players with more than 20 points during the team’s Cup run in 2022.
Trailing McKinnon on Colorado’s draft pick point share list were Finnish winger Mikko Rantanen (59.1 career point shares), defenseman Cale Makar (40.7 point shares), defenseman Will Butcher (16.1 point shares) and center Tyson Jost (8.9 point shares).
Makar (29 points) and Rantanen (25 points) were the two players ahead of MacKinnon in points during the 2022 playoffs.
Whether Colorado’s lone first round pick in 2023 can become a cornerstone to another Stanley Cup winner remains to be seen.
But there is no doubt the NHL Draft has been key to the Avs success on the ice and on Colorado sportsbooks next season.