After an ideal NHL draft lottery, it's safe to say the movie script is already being written.
With an 18.8 percent chance at the top pick in the newly revamped draft lottery—all 14 participants had a chance at No. 1—the Avs proved to have the odds in their favor when they nabbed the golden ticket over the Panthers, who had the best chance at 25 percent.
Here's a look at how the top 14 picks will officially go (with the final 16 being decided by the Stanley Cup Playoffs):
|3||Tampa Bay Lightning||18-26-4|
|9||New Jersey Devils||19-19-10|
|14||Columbus Blue Jackets||24-17-7|
There's an unwritten rule that says Jones, the consensus top prospect in this draft, isn't allowed to openly celebrate about what now appears to be his likely future destination, but let's not kid ourselves.
The 18-year-old defenseman literally grew up with the Avalanche. He was born in Plano, Texas but lived in Denver when his dad, Popeye, played with the NBA's Nuggets:
As noted in the above video, when Seth wanted to play hockey, Popeye went to none other than Avalanche legend Joe Sakic to ask for advice.
Nearly 15 years later, that kid can return to Denver, and return the Avalanche to a level they haven't been at since Sakic retired.
Who will the Avalanche select at No. 1?
It's almost too perfect.
There's no guarantee that the Avs will take Jones, of course. Halifax teammates Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon are oozing with offensive potential and their creativity with the puck could easily sway general manager Greg Sherman in an unexpected direction.
But Jones is the kind of player you can build a team around for the next decade—and the kind of player you don't pass on.
He has a drool-worthy combination of size (6'4" 205 pounds) and athletic ability. He's an imposing presence who will control the blue line. He will kill penalties. He has the intelligence and intangibles to be a captain and a leader.
The Avalanche, who were 27th in goals allowed and 20th in penalty killing percentage, need Jones.
Jones doesn't necessarily need the Avs, but being comfortable with the city would only help him succeed more rapidly.
Coming to a theater—and the Pepsi Center—soon.