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Avalanche looking at MacKinnon over Jones for 1st pick in the NHL draft

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 3:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Avalanche looking at MacKinnon over Jones for 1st pick in the NHL draft

The Colorado Avalanche have plenty to choose from with the first pick of a talent-rich NHL draft.

Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones. Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov. They're all among the candidates to go first Sunday at the Prudential Center.

Colorado won the draft lottery and has flirted with the idea of picking a puck-moving defenceman in Jones. But it appears the Avalanche are leaning toward a forward to take No. 1 overall, possibly the 17-year-old MacKinnon.

MacKinnon, a 6-foot, 182-pound centre, is a solid two-way presence with strong hands, stick handling and skating skills. He's considered a natural scorer and very good puck distributor.

The Florida Panthers hold the second draft pick and the Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 3.

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I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday