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Avalanche waits turn in 'deep draft'

Monday, 06.23.2008 / 10:04 AM / 2008 NHL Entry Draft

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor


OTTAWA -- The Colorado Avalanche had to wait until Saturday before they could make their first selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, as they sent their first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in February in exchange for veteran defenseman Adam Foote.

Forty-nine selections were made in Ottawa before the Avs had their turn, and they used the No. 50 selection to grab defenseman Cameron Gaunce out of Mississauga in the Ontario Hockey League.
         
“It was a very deep draft. We were getting into the mid-to-late rounds with players we felt very positive about and other teams also felt that way," said Ted Hampson, the Avs’ chief scout. “We feel that we added a good young group to the Avalanche roster and we’re looking forward to watching them develop.”

Here is a look at Colorado’s 2008 NHL Entry Draft class:

No. 50 Cameron Gaunce, D, Mississauga (OHL) -- This past season, Gaunce was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team after leading his team’s defensemen in scoring with 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) in 63 games.

While he may need more seasoning – he’ll likely return to Mississauga for a second season – both parties are confident that Gaunce can be a contributor in Colorado before too long.

“I see myself most likely playing junior hockey for a year or two to fully develop myself and continue my development any way Colorado would like me to,” Gaunce said.

Gaunce spent his childhood years skating alongside Steven Stamkos, Cody Hodgson and Michael Del Zotto, who were all selected Friday night in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

“I played with Steven for six years and Michael for four or five, while Cody was with us off and on for five or six years,” Gaunce said. “It’s great to be sharing this experience with them.”

No. 61 Peter Delmas, G, Lewiston (QMJHL) – Appeared in 34 games in his second junior season, going 17-13-4 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. In his first season with the Maineiacs, Delmas was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team after leading all first-year goalies with a 2.81 GAA and an .898 save percentage.

Delmas was the backup to future Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier in his rookie season, winning 23 games (23-10-1) and helping the Maineiacs win the QMJHL championship to compete for the Memorial Cup.

No. 110 Kelsey Tessier, C, Quebec (QMJHL) - The 5-8 center compiled 81 points (36 goals, 45 assists) in 68 games for the Remparts and scored eight times in 11 postseason contests. Quebec’s leading scorer also has a gritty side, evidenced by his 73 penalty minutes.

No. 140 Mark Olver, C, Northern Michigan (CCHA)
– At 20 years of age, Olver is two years older than most of the players selected at this year’s Draft. His 38 points in 39 games as a freshman lead all Northern Michigan scorers last season.

No. 167 Joel Chouinard, D, Victoriaville (QMJHL) – In his second season with the Tigres, Chouinard finished second among the team’s defensemen with 35 points in 69 games.

No. 170 Jonas Holos, D, Sarpsborg (Norway) – Holos has represented Norway at three World Championships, two World Junior Championship and one Under-18 World Championship. He went 2-20-22 in 40 games for Sarpsborg this season.

No. 200 Nathan Condon, C, Wausau West H.S. (USHS)
- Named to the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association All-State team in 2008, Condon will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall.

Contact Brian Compton at: bcompton@nhl.com.


Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure