There’s a chance — albeit a very small one — that the Avalanche will have the fourth overall pick for the second consecutive NHL draft.

The thing is, Colorado won’t know if it has that selection until the Ottawa Senators are on the clock with the fourth pick on June 22 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The Avs, who definitely own the 16th pick of the first round, will be ready to pick at No. 4 if the Senators surprise them. Colorado tentatively acquired Ottawa’s 2018 first-round pick in the three-team Matt Duchene trade last fall. But it’s a top-10 protected pick, meaning the Sens can keep it this year and instead give Colorado their 2019 first-round pick, regardless of the position.

Avalanche director of scouting Alan Hepple expects Ottawa to keep its fourth pick next week.

“That’s just a personal opinion but if they do hand it to us after they’re on the lock at No. 4 then we’re ready — ready to go with that pick as well. So we got to be prepared,” Hepple said in a conference call Wednesday morning.

Regardless of what Ottawa chooses to do with the fourth pick, the Avs will benefit in the draft from the Duchene trade that moved seven pieces to Colorado, including defenseman Sam Girard and forward Vladislav Kamenev from Nashville. The Avs acquired Nashville’s second-round pick this year, at No. 58, in that deal, giving them three guaranteed picks in the first two rounds.

At No. 16 and beyond, Hepple said the Avs will choose the best player available, regardless of position, but size won’t be a major determining factor.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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