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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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Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season