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NHL Draft 2013: Could the Colorado Avalanche Trade Away the 1st Overall Pick?

WEEHAWKEN, NJ - JUNE 28: Nathan MacKinnon during a media availability on June 28, 2013 in Weehawken, New Jersey. The NHL will be holding it's player draft Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IIJune 30, 2013

When the Colorado Avalanche robbed the Florida Panthers in the lottery for the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, no one would have anticipated them trading it away.

In such a deep draft class with multiple players that a franchise can build around, the notion of dealing a top-three or four pick seems absurd.

Whether a team is in need of a center, winger or defenseman, the 2013 draft class presents the chance to select a franchise cornerstone-type player.

Yet, according to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, the Avalanche may be entertaining the idea of trading the No. 1 draft choice in the June 30 draft:

Starting to hear a little chatter from a few people that first pick may be in play for trade. Buckle up, could be a wild day

adater (@adater) June 29, 2013

One can only imagine what the Avs would be asking for in return, but trading the pick is ridiculous regardless of what a team may offer.

Unless another general manager has a major lapse in judgment, it's unlikely that Colorado would receive the kind of exchange that the first overall pick in this draft should command.

Recent first overall picks, like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, may be talented in their own right, but potential No. 1 selection Nathan MacKinnon is seen as much more of a franchise building block than either of them.

Few youngsters out there right now show the potential and promise that players like MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin do.

Furthermore, even if the Avalanche were to find a team willing to give them an established star for the top pick, they would be acquiring a more expensive and less controllable player than a prospect like center MacKinnon.

Perhaps management feels that trading for a seasoned star would be safer than gambling on a prospect, but does anyone believe that MacKinnon is much of a gamble?

Dater summed it up best regarding the potential trade of the first overall draft choice:

Personally, I think Avs will outsmart themselves by trading pick if they do. MacKinnon will be a superstar

adater (@adater) June 29, 2013

While Colorado may feel it could be making a clever decision to deal the No. 1 pick, chances are that it will be left wondering what could have been years down the road.

Unless the Avs can somehow convince the Edmonton Oilers to offer up Yakupov or Nugent-Hopkins and the seventh overall pick, moving down in the draft shouldn't be considered.

Maybe that's precisely what is going on. After all, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has reported that the Oilers have been fielding calls regarding the availability of their two young guns.

 

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