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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 downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh