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Avalanche Selects Five Players At 2012 Draft

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

PITTSBURGH – The Colorado Avalanche made five selections at the 2012 NHL Draft held Friday and Saturday at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Following is a complete list of the Avalanche’s selections at the 2012 NHL Draft.

#     Rd    Pick      Player                            Pos         Team (League)

1.       2        41      Mitchell Heard                 C           Plymouth (OHL)

2.       3        72      Troy Bourke                   LW          Prince George (WHL)

3.       5      132      Michael Clarke                 C          Windsor (OHL)

4.       6      162      Joseph Blandisi               C          Owen Sound (OHL)

5.       7      192      Colin Smith                       C           Kamloops (WHL)

All five picks were forwards from the Canadian Hockey League, including three from the Ontario Hockey League and two from the Western Hockey League.

“We’re excited to add some quality prospects to our organization,” said Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Rick Pracey.  “We believe we’ve added some skilled forwards that fit our criteria of good hockey players who all have instincts, compete and skill.”

Colorado’s first pick of the 2012 draft was center Mitchell Heard of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, taken 41st overall in the second round.  Heard, 20, averaged a point-per-game during the 2011-12 OHL season, collecting 57 points (29 goals, 28 assists) with 111 penalty minutes in 57 games for the Whalers.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center finished third on the team in goals, was sixth in points and ranked second in PIM.  Heard, who was a teammate of 2011 Avalanche draft pick Garrett Meurs, also finished second on Plymouth in power-play goals with 10.  The Bowmanville, Ontario native added 11 points (4g/7a) in 13 playoff contests.

In the third round, the Avalanche selected left wing Troy Bourke with the 72nd overall choice.  Bourke, 18, led the Prince George Cougars with 56 points (18g/38a) in 71 games during the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season.  The Edmonton, Alberta native also paced the Cougars in assists and tied for the team lead in goals.

Following the season, Bourke helped Team Canada capture the bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic.  The 5-foot-10, 156-pound winger tallied seven points (0g/7a) in seven games at the tournament, tying for the team lead in both assists (7) and plus/minus (+7).

In the fifth round (132nd overall), the Avalanche drafted center Michael Clarke from Windsor of the OHL.  Clark, 18, appeared in all 68 games for the Spitfires this season, recording 36 points (15g/21a) and 81 penalty minutes.  The 5-foot-11, 184-pound native of London, Ontario also dressed in all four playoff contests for Windsor, scoring one goal.  He was rated by NHL Central Scouting No. 119 among North American skaters in the final rankings for the 2012 Draft.

Colorado’s sixth-round pick (162nd overall) was center Joseph Blandisi of Owen Sound (OHL).  Blandisi, 17, appeared in all 68 games for the Attack this season, collecting 31 points (17g/14a) and 72 PIM.  The 5-foot-10, 182-pound forward added one assist in five playoff contests.

The Avalanche’s final selection (seventh round, 192nd overall) was center Colin Smith from Kamloops of the WHL.  Smith, who just turned 19 earlier this week, finished second on the Blazers in scoring thisseason with 85 points (35g/50a) while appearing in all 72 games.  He was also second on the team in assists and ranked third in goals.  The Edmonton native posted a +31 plus/minus rating, second highest on the Blazers.  The 5-foot-10, 162-pound forward was rated No. 92 on Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2012 Draft.

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