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Avalanche Draft Board

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche kicked off its 2008 NHL Entry Draft by selecting defenseman Cameron Gaunce from the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (OHL) in the second round (50th overall).

The following is a look at each of Colorado's seven selections in the 2008 Entry Draft.

Cameron Gaunce – Defenseman – Mississauga St. Michael’s (OHL)
Second Round, 50th Overall
6-0, 203lbs - Shoots Left

Led all Mississauga defensemen in scoring with 40 points (10g/30a) in 63 games…Gaunce’s point total ranked 12th among league rookies…Added one assist in four playoff contests…Named to the OHL All-Rookie Team…Recipient of the 2007-08 Majors Tim Horton Defenseman of the Year Award…Spent the previous 11 years with the Markham Waxers organization, where he was teammates with fellow 2008 draftees Steven Stamkos (1st overall – Tampa Bay Lightning), Cody Hodgson (10th overall – Vancouver Canucks) and Michael Del Zotto (20th overall – New York Rangers)…Recorded 14 points (2g/12a) in 45 games with Markham during the 2006-07 campaign.

What They’re Saying About Gaunce
Ted Hampson, Chief Scout for the Avalanche
“He’s a solid character player and has a good feel for the game,” said Hampson. “He’s got good size and strength. He’s got a lot of leadership and a lot of desire to play.”

He Said It

“A million thoughts are going through my head right now. It’s hard to describe the feeling. I can’t put the sheer excitement and enjoyment of this experience into words. It kind of hit me when I heard my name called, but I still haven’t quite come to grips with being drafted by the Avalanche organization.”

Cameron Gaunce Draft Day Feature

Peter Delmas - Goaltender - Lewiston (QMJHL)
Second Round, 61st Overall
6-2, 169lbs - Catches Left

Posted a 2.84 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in 34 games with Lewiston during the 2007-08 season...Participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2007 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament…Was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2007 after leading all rookie goaltenders with a 2.81 goals against average and a .898 save percentage… Was the back-up goaltender to Los Angeles' 2006 first round selection 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… His most memorable hockey moment was winning the QMJHL Championship in 2007 – "we got to go to the Memorial Cup – best time in hockey"…  He got his start in hockey when his dad inspired him to be a goalie at the age of five and he credits his dad for having had the most influence on his career – "he used to be a goalie and I wanted to be like him"…His first hockey team was the Leafs Bedford House Timbits and he played his minor hockey for the Bedford Blues from 1995 to 2004.

What They’re Saying About Delmas
Ted Hampson, Chief Scout for the Avalanche
"He’s got good size. He’s a kid we thought would go a little earlier. When he was still there (late in the second round), Francois [Giguere] was able to get a pick for us. He’s got good quickness and a good technical game. We’ve been watching him for two years and we thought it would be great to get him at that point in the draft."

NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen

"Peter is a laid back and confident goalie. He doesn't get too excited and he isn't an aggressive type of goalie, but he is very calm. I saw some games this year, close games, where he was able to close the door and make the big saves when his team needed it. He's not flashy, but his positioning and movements are excellent. If I was a coach I would feel very comfortable having him in the net. He played behind Jonathan Bernier this year, which was tough for him to see some ice time with Bernier being the great goaltender that he is, but when he did play he played very well and was very consistent. He has big upside and he is very big even when he is in his butterfly. He showed very well at the Top Prospects game and even though he's a laid back guy he held his ground very well. Has a very good glove hand and good rebound control."
Lewiston Maineiacs head coach Ed Harding
"Peter is an athletic goal tender with quick reflexes, strong puck skills, and is an outstanding teammate."

He Said It
On the experience of being drafted
“I’m really excited to be drafted by the Avalanche. I want to work as hard as I can, show them what I have to offer and hopefully have a good training camp to try and impress as many people as I can.”

On his style, which has been compared to Roberto Luongo’s
“I like to play low and fast like him. I kind of pattern my play a bit off him. I think I have a pretty low stance, and that’s what we have in common.

Kelsey Tessier – Center – Quebec (QMJHL)
Fourth Round – 110th Overall
5-9, 168lbs - Shoots Right

Finished in the Top-15 in QMJHL scoring and led his team with 81 points (36-45-81) in 2007-08...Went four-for-six in shootouts…Participated in the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game and was an alternate captain for Team Canada at the 2007 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial…Played Bantam AAA in Moncton in 2003-04, for Shattuck-St. Mary's in 2004-05 and for the Colorado Outlaws, a Midget AAA team that competed in the U.S. prep school ranks, in 2005-06…Was the tournament's leading scorer with 27 points in six games for New Brunswick at the 2007 Canada Winter Games…Patterns his game after Mike Cammalleri – "he's a two-way player with good vision and he's a warrior on the ice"…Began playing hockey at the age of five because of the influence from his brother and dad playing and his first hockey team was the Laméque Lightning.
What They’re Saying About Tessier
Ted Hampson, Chief Scout for the Avalanche
“Definitely, [a player’s size] is not as important as it used to be. In Tessier’s case, he’s the ultimate competitor. He plays a lot bigger than his stature, never stops and he’s a smart player. There’s always room for guys with his heart and character.”

NHL Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire

"Kelsey is really a hard working player; he is an effective forechecker, used in all situations both on the power-play and on the penalty kill. He plays on some of the best lines – Angelo Esposito is one of his linemates on the Quebec Remparts, and it really makes for as an explosive, offensive duo as there is in the Quebec League."

He Said It
On proving people wrong
“It makes me smile every time – just to prove everyone wrong –  I'm 5'9", I can still play with all these players.”

On his style of play
“I think I'm an all–around player.  I play offense and defense – some days I'm a passer and some days I'm a scorer.  I think I just come every day prepared to be Kelsey Tessier, just working hard.”

On being drafted
“It’s a great experience. Waiting there and hearing my name is a blessing. I just loved it.”

Watch a video profile on Kelsey Tessier

Mark Olver – Center – Northern Michigan Univ. (CCHA)
Fifth Round – 140th Overall
5-10, 155lbs - Shoots Left
Led Northern Michigan in scoring during his freshman season by totaling 38 points (21g/17a) in 39 games…Also led the team with eight power-play goals and tied for the team lead with four game-winners…Finished seventh nationally among freshmen in points-per-game (0.97) and tied for 18th in the nation in goals-per-game (0.54)…Played junior hockey for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League for two season (2005-07) before attending NMU…Recorded 64 points (29g/35a) for Omaha during the 2006-07 campaign…Named Omaha’s Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player…Totaled five goals and 20 assists in 2005-06…Played two seasons with the Marquette Electricians (2003-05), where he was the leading scorer both seasons and was named team MVP in 2004-05.

What They're Saying About Olver
Ted Hampson, Chief Scout for the Avalanche
“Olver is a good competitor and a smart player, so he fills the same role (as Tessier). He maybe has a little more finesse than Tessier, who likes to work the boards a little harder.”

Joel Chouinard – Defense – Victoriaville (QMJHL)
Sixth Round – 167th Overall
6-1, 186lbs - Shoots Left

Finished second among Victoriaville defensemen and 23rd among league blueliners with 35 points (7g/28a) in 69 games…Added two goals in six playoff contests…Also skated with the Tigres in 2006-07, totaling six points (3g/3a) in 23 contests.

He Said It
On his style of play
"I like offensive defensemen. I compare myself to Bruno Gervais of the Islanders. He's not offensive like Scott Niedermayer, but he makes a good first pass and he's good on power plays."

Jonas Holos – Defense – Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway)
Sixth Round – 170th Overall
6-0, 205lbs - Shoots Right

Played 40 games for Sparta Sarpsborg of the Norwegian Elite League, tallying two goals and 20 assists…Competed for Team Norway at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship and recorded one assist in seven games...Also played for Sparta during the 2006-07 campaign, posting 30 points (11g/19a) in 40 games with a +13 rating…Has represented Norway at three Men’s World Championships, three World Junior Championship and two Under-18 World Championship.

Nathan Condon – Center – Wausau West High
Seventh Round – 200th Overall
6-0, 180lbs – Shoots Left

Named to the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association All-State team in 2008…Credits his brother, Nick, for having had the most influence on his career – "he has influenced many of my decisions because of his experience in hockey". Nick will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2008…His most memorable hockey moment was playing his senior season in front of his hometown friends and family – they won the Marathon Cup and the Kuehlman Cup…The best advice he ever received came from his grandfather – "hard work pays off, you will never regret it"; if he wasn't playing hockey he would be playing lacrosse…Will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2009.

What They’re Saying About Condon
NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee
"Nathan is a very good skater with excellent passing skills; can stickhandle in and out of traffic well. He is a good playmaker and uses his linemates effectively.  He was used in all game situations and was relied on heavily on a mediocre team.  With maturity, he offers a good upside."
Wausau West varsity head coach Peter Susens
"Nate is an electrifying offensive player, the best that I have coached in 30 years. Nate has great, deceptive, top-end speed and he has the ability to get to that speed in just a few strides. He has great hands and is just now developing into the type of hockey player that he will eventually be.  He is now physically maturing and he has great instincts for the game. He sees the ice exceptionally well and looks to make the best offensive play. I don't know where Nate's limit is, but I would like to think that he will make a great contribution to any hockey program in the future."

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