The Colorado Avalanche will have two of the top 11 picks, including the second overall selection, when the 2011 NHL Entry Draft is held this Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The first round of the 2011 Entry Draft will take place on Friday beginning at 5:00 p.m. MT (televised on VERSUS). Rounds 2-7 will be held on Saturday starting at 9:00 a.m. MT (NHL Network).
“This draft is a great opportunity for our organization,” said Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Rick Pracey. “We feel we’re in a good position in terms of planning and we’re excited and ready for the challenge. This is a deep draft, with a lot of quality prospects. As always, our goal is to select the best available players and we will have that same approach this year.”
The No. 2 overall selection will be the Avalanche’s highest draft pick since the team moved to Colorado in 1995. The previous high draft pick came in 2009, when the club selected Matt Duchene
with the third overall choice. This will mark the first time Colorado/Quebec has ever drafted second overall. The Avalanche/Nordiques franchise drafted first overall three times, 1989 (Mats Sundin), 1990 (Owen Nolan) and 1991 (Eric Lindros).
In addition to the second overall pick, the Avalanche obtained the 11th overall selection in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 18, 2011. Colorado is the only NHL team to have two picks in the top 11 of this year’s draft. In fact, the last time a team selected twice within the first 11 picks at the draft was in 2002, when the Florida Panthers chose Jay Bouwmeester at No. 3 overall and Petr Taticek at No. 9. Only once before has the Avalanche had multiple picks in the first round, 1998, when the club had four choices in the opening round.
The Avs also hold selections in the fourth round (93rd overall), fifth round (123rd), sixth round (153rd) and seventh round (183rd). The Avs dealt their second-round pick to the Blues in that same Feb. 18th trade and their third rounder to the New York Islanders in exchange for New York’s fourth-round pick in 2010 (Colorado selected Stephen Silas
Visit www.coloradoavalanche.com for complete coverage of the Avalanche’s 2011 draft, including on-site interviews and coverage from St. Paul. The Avalanche’s official website will also link to NHL.com’s live audio and video streams throughout the two days.