The Colorado Avalanche own the No. 1 pick in next month's NHL Draft after winning the lottery. According to new coach Patrick Roy, that doesn't mean they'll be the first team to make a selection at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30.
Roy said he has told executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic that the Avalanche need to examine the possibility of dealing the top pick. Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and Halifax Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are expected to be the top three players drafted -- not necessarily in that order.
"All are premier players," Roy said at his introductory press conference Tuesday. "At the end of the day, it's going to be an organization decision. We have scouts that have been watching game after game and they have their input. Joe and [team president] Josh [Kroenke] are the final say.
"Regardless of what we're going to do, we have to make the best decision. Maybe the best is to trade it. Maybe the best is to keep it. At the end, we'll see what's on the table."
Roy has the title of vice president of hockey operations as well as coach.
It's been a decade since a team traded the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft. Ten years ago, the Florida Panthers owned the pick but sent it to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who selected goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The Panthers received forward Mikael Samuelsson and the No. 3 pick, which they used to select forward Nathan Horton.