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Avalanche Selects Eight Players at 2019 NHL Draft

Colorado chooses five forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender

by Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche / ColoradoAvalanche.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club made eight selections at the 2019 NHL Draft held Friday and Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The following is a complete list of the Avalanche's selections at the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Avalanche 2019 Draft Class
# Rd Pick Player Pos Team (League)
1. 1 4 Bowen Byram D Vancouver (WHL)
2. 1 16 Alex Newhook C Victoria (BCHL)
3. 2 47 Drew Helleson D U.S. National Team Development Program
4. 3 63 Matthew Stienburg C St. Andrews College
5. 3 78 Alex Beaucage RW Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
6. 5 140 Sasha Mutala RW Tri-City (WHL)
7. 6 171 Luka Burzan RW Brandon (WHL)
8. 7 202 Trent Miner G Vancouver (WHL)

Colorado selected five forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender at this year's draft. The Avalanche selected four players from the Western Hockey League, matching the franchise record for most players drafted out of the WHL (also 2005 and 1992). Seven of the Avs' eight draft picks hail from Canada, Colorado's most Canadian-born selections since the team moved to Denver and the most since 1994 (also seven).

During the first round on Friday, the Avalanche selected defenseman Bowen Byram with the fourth overall pick.

Byram, 18, spent the 2018-19 season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, where he recorded 71 points (26g/45a) in 67 regular-season games. The Cranbrook, British Columbia, native led all WHL defensemen in goals and ranked third in points, earning WHL (West) First All-Star Team honors. He added 26 points (8g/18a) in 22 playoff games, leading all skaters in assists and points and becoming the first defenseman to ever lead the WHL in postseason scoring. Byram has accumulated 98 points (32g/66a) in 138 career WHL contests, all with Vancouver, and has totaled 33 points (11g/22a) in 29 playoff outings.

Byram represented his country at the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Russia, recording one point (0g/1a) in five contests. He tallied four points (1g/3a) in five games to help Canada capture the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and suited up for Team Canada Red at the 2017 World Hockey Challenge, registering five points (1g/4a) in six outings.

With its second selection (16th overall) of the opening round, Colorado drafted forward Alex Newhook from the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Newhook, 18, has spent the last two seasons with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League, where he's produced 168 points (60g/108a) in 98 career regular-season games and 33 points (14g/19a) in 27 total postseason contests. The St. John's, Newfoundland, native served as team captain in 2018-19 and led the league with 102 points (38g/64a). He also paced the league in assists and ranked third in goals, earning the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player and BCHL First Team All-Star honors. Newhook added a league-leading 24 points (11g/13a) in 15 postseason games, ranking second in goals and tied for fourth in assists.

In 2017-18, Newhook ranked first among BCHL rookies with 66 points (22g/44a) and was tops among first-year players in assists and second in goals. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound center won the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy as the league's rookie of the year and was named a BCHL First-Team All-Star. He notched nine points (3g/6a) in 12 playoff outings. Newhook represented his country at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Sweden, registering 10 points (5g/5a) in seven tournament contests to tie for the team lead in points.

With their second-round pick (47th overall), the Avs selected defenseman Drew Helleson from the U.S. National Team Development Program. Helleson, 18, spent the last two seasons with the USNTDP, where he recorded 63 points (10g/53a) and a +30 plus/minus rating in 125 career games. The Farmington, Minn., native notched 23 points (5g/18a) in 64 contests in 2018-19, his second year with the program. In his first campaign, the 6-foot-3, 194-pound blueliner paced all USNTDP defensemen with 40 points (5g/35a) and 35 assists in 61 games. He notched three points (0g/3a) in seven contests at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Sweden to help the United States capture the bronze medal, and he earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, tallying one point (0g/1a) in six outings.

In the third round (73rd overall), Colorado selected forward Matthew Stienburg from St. Andrew's College, where he served as team captain in 2018-19 while tallying 66 points (31g/35a) in 48 games for the Saints. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native finished the regular season tied for third on the team in points and ranked third in goals and fourth in assists. In CISAA (Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association) play, Stienburg notched nine points (2g/7a) in eight contests and added six points (4g/2a) in four postseason outings to lead St. Andrew's to the league championship for the second straight year. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound center joined the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL following the conclusion of his season and registered one point (0g/1a) in three games. Stienburg is committed to Cornell University for the 2019-20 campaign.

With its second selection of the third round (78th overall), the Avalanche drafted forward Alex Beaucage from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Beaucage, 17, has played the last two campaigns with the Huskies, totaling 116 points (52g/64a) in 124 career QMJHL games. In 2018-19, the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, native registered 79 points (39g/40a) in 68 regular-season games and added 16 points (5g/11a) in 16 playoff contests to help Rouyn-Noranda to the President's Cup as league champions. Beaucage also helped the Huskies earn the Memorial Cup championship, tallying two points (1g/1a) in five contests. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound right wing suited up for Team Canada Black at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and tallied three points (2g/1a) in five games.

Colorado used its fifth-round pick (140th overall) on forward Sasha Mutala from the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. Mutala, 18, just completed his second full season with the Americans, serving as an alternate captain and recording 41 points (20g/21a) in 65 games. The Vancouver, British Columbia, native added one point (0g/1a) in five playoff contests. He's tallied 67 points (31g/36a) in 136 career WHL regular-season games and five points (1g/4a) in 19 total postseason outings. Mutala served as captain for Team Canada Black at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and registered a team-high eight points (5g/3a) in five tournament games. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound right wing also represented his country at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, recording four points (2g/2a) in five outings to help Canada to the gold medal.

With its sixth-round pick (171st overall), the Avalanche selected forward Luka Burzan from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. Burzan, 19, has accumulated 145 points (69g/76a) in 207 career WHL regular-season games with Brandon and the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Surrey, British Columbia, native has recorded 10 points (5g/5a) in 19 total postseason contests. Burzan finished the 2018-19 campaign ranked second on the team with 78 points (40g/38a), ranking second in goals and tied for second in assists. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center represented his country at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup appearing in five games as Canada captured the gold medal.

Colorado selected Vancouver Giants (WHL) goaltender Trent Miner in the seventh round (202nd overall), its final pick of the 2019 NHL Draft. Miner, 18, posted a 24-5-2 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 2018-19. The Brandon, Manitoba, native ranked third among all WHL goaltenders (with 15 or more games played) in both goals-against average and save percentage. He went 4-2 in six postseason appearances, recording a 2.73 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage.

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