The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club selected defenseman Duncan Siemens
with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft held tonight at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Siemens pick, along with Gabriel Landeskog
at No. 2 overall, gives the Avalanche two selections in the first round for only the second time since moving to Denver. Colorado had four picks in the first round of the 1998 Entry Draft. The Avs are the first NHL team to pick two players within the first 11 selections since the Florida Panthers in 2002.
Siemens, 17, appeared in all 72 games for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League this past season. The Edmonton, Alberta native tallied 43 points (5g/38a) with a +40 plus/minus rating and 121 penalty minutes. Only Avalanche prospect Stefan Elliott
(81) had more points among Blades defensemen. Siemens went on to collect four points (1g/3a) in 10 playoff games.
“Duncan is a player we had targeted,” said Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Rick Pracey
. “He has size, skating ability, grit, hockey sense and compete level. We’re excited to have him join our organization.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound blueliner was rated by NHL Central Scouting as the fourth-best North American defenseman in its final rankings for the 2011 Entry Draft. He was tabbed as the 10th best North American skater overall.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Siemens
. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I couldn’t be more happy to be selected by the Colorado Avalanche.”
Siemens appeared in 57 regular season games for Saskatoon as a 16-year-old in 2009-10, recording 20 points (3g/17a) and 87 PIM. He also helped Canada to gold at the 2010 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial with a goal and two assists in five games. Siemens played his minor hockey in his hometown of Sherwood Park, Alberta. His father, Errol, played football in the Edmonton Eskimos system in the Canadian Football League.
Says NHL Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan
: “(Siemens) is a guy that is really tough to play against. Sometimes I think he over-does it, tries to do too much, but he's got all the potential. He can carry the puck, he's a tough kid – he can fight. He's tough to play against. He can work both ends; he plays both the power play and penalty kill. He's just a solid, all-round defenseman.”