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The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

Inside The Avalanche's 2010 Draft

by Brendan McNicholas / Colorado Avalanche

Draft Summary…

The Colorado Avalanche made eight selections at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. Colorado drafted three players from the Western Hockey League, two from the Ontario Hockey League, one from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, one from the U.S. National Under-18 Team and one from Finland. Overall, the Avs wound up with four forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders. Five of the Avalanche’s choices were born in Canada, two in the United States and one in Finland.

#    Rd    Pick    Player                         Pos      Team (League)

1.    1    17         Joey Hishon              C          Owen Sound (OHL)
2.    2    49         Calvin Pickard           G          Seattle (WHL)
3.    3    71         Michael Bournival     L          Shawinigan (QMJHL)
4.    4    95         Stephen Silas           D          Belleville (OHL)
5.    4    107      Sami Aittokallio         G          Ilves Jr. (Finland Jr.)
6.    5    137      Troy Rutkowski          D          Portland (WHL)
7.    5    139      Luke Walker               R          Portland (WHL)
8.    7    197      Luke Moffatt                C          U.S. National Under-18 Team

Following The Trend…
The Avalanche’s 2010 draft seemed to mirror the entire NHL. Not surprisingly, most of the total draftees were born in Canada (99 of the 210, or 47%), followed by the United States, which had 59 players selected (or 28%). The WHL accounted for not only the highest number of Colorado’s 2010 draftees but also the highest total in the NHL as well, as 43 players were taken from the “dub.” The OHL was second with 42. Following is a breakdown of 2010 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:

Canada                   99
United States         59
Sweden                   20
Russia                      8
Finland                      7
Czech Republic       5
Germany                   5
Slovakia                     2
Switzerland               2
Denmark                   1
Latvia                         1
Norway                      1
TOTAL                     210

Speaking of the WHL…
The last time the Avalanche drafted three or more players from the Western Hockey League was in 2005, when they took four. The last of that foursome was Kelowna defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, who was chosen 222nd overall. After selecting WHL blueliners Stefan Elliott (Saskatoon) and Tyson Barrie (Kelowna) a year ago, the Avalanche has now drafted five western league players in the past two drafts (out of 15 total picks). That’s after drafting zero WHL players in the previous two drafts and only one over the previous three drafts combined.

O Still Rules The Top…
Colorado’s first-round pick, center Joey Hishon, plays his junior hockey with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. This marks the third straight year and fourth time in the last five drafts that Colorado has taken an OHL player with its first selection. The Avs drafted Brampton’s Matt Duchene in 2009 (first round, third overall), Mississauga’s Cameron Gaunce in 2008 (second round, 50th overall) and Kingston’s Chris Stewart in 2006 (first round, 18th overall).

A Bit Of Avalanche History…
This was the Colorado Avalanche’s 16th draft since arriving from Quebec in the summer of 1995.  So it’s certainly worth noting that Michael Bournival was the first Shawinigan player ever drafted by the Avalanche, while Troy Rutkowski and Luke Walker are the first Portland Winterhawks ever drafted by Colorado. In fact, the last Winterhawk selected by the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise was current video coach Adam Deadmarsh in 1993 (first round, 14th overall). It’s been even longer for Shawinigan, as you have to go back to 1986 to find the last time the Nordiques drafted a player from the Cataractes. That year Quebec selected defenseman Stephane Guerard in the second round (41st overall).

And Just For Fun…
The last Owen Sound player drafted by Colorado was Brad Richardson in 2003 (fifth round, 163rd), the last Seattle player was Chris Durand in 2005 (second round, 52nd) and the last Belleville Bull was Cody McCormick in 2001 (fifth round, 144th overall).

Rutkowski and Walker are the first college or major junior teammates taken by Colorado in the same draft since Guelph (OHL) forwards Colt King and Charlie Stevens in 2001. This is the first time the Avalanche has ever picked teammates in the same round though.

Made In America…
By selecting center Luke Moffatt in the seventh round (197th overall) at this year’s draft, the Avalanche continued its strong connection with the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP). Since NTDP players became draft eligible in 1999, Colorado (15) has selected more players from the program – which houses the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams – than any other NHL club. The Chicago Blackhawks rank second, having tabbed 12 players who have skated at the Ann Arbor, Mich., based program. The Avs started the trend by selecting defenseman William Magnuson (fifth round, 142nd overall) in 1999 and have now chosen players who have played at the NTDP during six of the last seven drafts (12 players total). A look here at the 15 NTDP players selected by the Avalanche.

2010 – Luke Moffatt
2009 – Brandon Maxwell
2007 – Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen
2006 – Nigel Williams, Mike Carman, Kevin Montgomery
2005 – Ryan Stoa, Tom Fritsche, T.J.Hensick, Justin Mercier
2004 – J.D. Corbin
2000 – Brian Fahey, John-Michael Liles
1999 – William Magnuson

Try A Little TENDER-ness…
The Avalanche selected two goaltenders (Calvin Pickard and Sami Aittokallio) for the second straight year and third time in their last four Entry Drafts. In 2009, the Avs took Kieran Millan and Brandon Maxwell and in 2007 it was Trevor Cann and Kent Patterson.

Head Of Their Class…
The Avalanche’s two netminders, second rounder Pickard and fifth rounder Aittokallio, each topped their respective group in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2010 Entry Draft. Pickard was the No. 1 rated North American goaltender according to Central Scouting, while Aittokallio was the No. 1 rated European netminder.

It Takes Two Baby…
Colorado was one of only five teams to select two goaltenders this year, joining Chicago, Columbus, New Jersey and Phoenix. No team picked more than two.

Going Overseas…
Aittokallio, a native of Tampere, Finland, was the first Finnish-born player drafted by Colorado since 2002 (defenseman Mikko Kalteva – fourth round). Aittokallio is the first-ever Finnish-born goaltender drafted by the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise and only the seventh European-born netminder. The last? Peter Budaj in 2001. Budaj was born in Slovakia but drafted out of Toronto St. Michael’s of the OHL (second round, 63rd overall).

Good As Gold…
Both American-born draft picks, Walker and Moffatt, were gold-medal winners at the top two under-20 tournaments this year. Walker was a member of the United States’ gold-medal winning team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan, while Moffatt helped lead Team USA to gold at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus.

Also Doing Their Nation Proud…
Pickard, Bournival and fourth rounder Stephen Silas were all members of Team Canada at that same 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. The Canadians finished seventh.

When I Was 17…
Joey Hishon is only the second player in franchise history (covering 32 drafts now) that has ever been chosen No. 17 overall. The other was defenseman Martin Skoula in 1998, the second of Colorado’s four first-round picks that June. 

Elder Statesmen…
Born Feb. 19, 1990, the 20-year-old Walker was the fourth-oldest player taken in the 2010 Entry Draft.  The oldest is 20-year-old Danish goaltender Frederik Andersen (Carolina – seventh round), the only player born in 1989. Andersen turns 21 on Oct. 2. Two others, Tampa Bay seventh rounder Teigan Zahn (Jan. 4, 1990) and Toronto fifth rounder Daniel Brodin (Feb. 9, 1990) are just barely older as well.

Trade Winds…
The following trades were completed by the Avalanche during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft
•    Colorado traded its 2nd-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft (47th overall) to Los Angeles for Los Angeles' 2nd- and 4th-round picks in 2010 (49th and 109th overall).
•    Dallas traded its 3rd-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft (71st overall) to Colorado for Colorado's 3rd-round pick in 2010 (77th overall) and Los Angeles' 4th-round pick in 2010 (previously acquired, 109th overall).
•    NY Islanders traded their 4th-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft (95th overall) to Colorado for Colorado's 3rd-round pick in 2011.

A Look Ahead…
The Minnesota Wild will host the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Entry Draft will be held Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25.
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