Avalanche Win 2013 NHL Draft Lottery
Toronto, ON, Canada
The Colorado Avalanche won the 2013 NHL Draft Lottery, getting a chance to acquire a big, offensive defenseman in Seth Jones.
The 2013 NHL Draft will be held June 30 in New Jersey.
Jones, a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, is the No. 1 ranked prospect by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau.
He helped Team USA win the World Junior Championship this year and is a blue-chip prospect expected to make an immediate step into the NHL next season.
The son of former NBA star Popeye Jones, he had 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games this season and was ranked ahead of Halifax Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.
With forwards like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and PA Parenteau, the Avalanche has a solid foundation from which to build.
"Clearly, given the talent we have on this team right now, we're adding another elite prospect to the solid foundation that we have," said Avalanche GM Greg Sherman.
"There's a lot to like about Jones," said Avalaanche director of amateur scouting, Rick Pracey. "His size and skating ability are two things that jump off the page and are attention grabbers, but his ability to rush the puck and make decisions coming out of the D-zone to create offense from the back end has our attention. He's an individual that brings two-way ability, size and reach."
Pracey also praised MacKinnon and Drouin.
"Drouin is a skill-set type of player who makes others around him better," Pracey said. "MacKinnon is more of a power play [guy] and his skating is elite. We like his intensity and his energy."
He added that picking Jones first overall, "is not a slam dunk decision by any means."
This year's lottery was the first in NHL history in which all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams - had a chance at winning the right to the No. 1 selection. In seasons past, only the bottom-five teams had a crack at the top pick.
The Avalanche finished 29th this season at 16-25-7 and had 18.8-percent chance to win the lottery. They were three points ahead of the last-place Florida Panthers, who had the greatest odds to get the first lottery pick at 25 percent.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a 14.2 percent chance of getting the top pick. The other teams who had an opportunity were: Nashville Predators (10.7), Carolina Hurricanes (8.1), Calgary Flames (6.2), Edmonton Oilers (4.7), Buffalo Sabres (3.6), New Jersey Devils (2.7), Dallas Stars (2.1), Philadelphia Flyers (1.5), Phoenix Coyotes (1.1), Winnipeg Jets (0.8) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0.5).
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