- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Avalanche looking at MacKinnon for 1st pick
Colorado won the draft lottery and has flirted with the idea of picking a puck-moving defenseman in Jones. But it appears the Avalanche are leaning toward choosing a forward, perhaps the 17-year-old MacKinnon.
MacKinnon, a 6-foot, 182-pound center, is a solid two-way presence with strong hands and stick-handling and skating skills. He is considered a natural scorer and a very good puck distributor.
Of course, Colorado could also decide to trade the pick to the Florida Panthers, who are slated to pick second, or to the Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 3, or even farther down to another club that is looking to make a splash and shoot to the top.
There is plenty of talent available, and this draft pool has already been touted as the best in a decade. This year’s prospects have been favorably compared to the last blockbuster draft in 2003.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards highlighted that first round 10 years ago. Patrice Bergeron and Shea Weber went in the second round, and future All-Stars and Stanley Cup champions dotted the list of a loaded draft.
Fast forward to now and there is a new group of prospects vying to become as well known and decorated as some of today’s stars.
Given the track record of defensemen at No. 1, the Avalanche could play it safe and nab an elite forward instead.
“As far as MacKinnon, I could tell you he’s a heck of a player. Jones is a heck of a player,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “It’s the same thing with Drouin. They’re all premier players in the future for the NHL.”
Fair or not to Jones, teams are skittish about taking a defenseman first. The last defenseman selected No. 1 was Erik Johnson by St. Louis in 2006. Johnson, who now plays for Colorado, had only four points in 31 games this season and has never lived up to his top billing.
Only 12 defensemen have gone No. 1, and Denis Potvin (1973, New York Islanders) is the only one to make the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Avalanche could make it 13 after winning the draft lottery for the first time.
Jones has deep roots with the Avalanche, dating to the early part of last decade when his father, former NBA forward Popeye Jones, struck up a friendship with Joe Sakic and Roy when they all played in Colorado.
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.