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Sakic Discusses Draft, Expansion And Schedule Release

Colorado's EVP/GM spoke ahead of the event on Friday

by Ryan Boulding @rboulding /

CHICAGO--As the Colorado Avalanche prepares for the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft on Friday, executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic discussed the annual summer selection, the Expansion Draft in Las Vegas and the upcoming schedule release.

"First, we want to wish Calvin all the best with Vegas. We knew that losing a player was going to be part of the expansion process," Sakic said. "Calvin is a good teammate and an even better person, and we'd like to thank him for everything he did during his time with us."

Looking forward, Sakic said that he expects netminder Semyon Varlamov to be ready to carry the load as the starting goalkeeper when the season starts in October.

"We are very confident that Varly will be back to form as our No. 1 goalie, and we feel that the procedures he had done will keep him healthy," said Sakic.

With the 2017 NHL Draft upon us, Sakic admitted that his plan for the future of the team hasn't changed.

"We're looking forward to the draft, and we know we will get a very good hockey player with the No. 4 pick," he said. "We're also looking at many different options as we keep building toward the future."

As revealed yesterday, the Avalanche will host the Boson Bruins on Oct. 11 in the first home game of the season at Pepsi Center. Sakic said the rest of the schedule should provide further fervor when it is released today at 1 p.m. MT.

"Fans already know about our Global Series games in Sweden and the home opener versus Boston," he said. "I think they'll be excited about the rest of the schedule."

The first round of the draft begins on Friday at 5 p.m. MT. It will be broadcast live on NBCSN. The event concludes on Saturday as rounds 2-7 play out at the United Center. The second day will air on NHL Network beginning at 8 a.m MT.

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