By John Vogl
The NHL draft was already interesting with trade talk and bona fide prospects. Colorado just added to the intrigue.
The Avalanche are set to pass on former Denver resident and No. 1-rated prospect Seth Jones with the first overall pick, according to the Denver Post. The defenseman seemed destined to return to the city where he fell in love with hockey, but the Avs like the potential of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov.
"If we do pick first, we're leaning more toward one of those three forwards," Joe Sakic, executive vice president of hockey operations, told the Denver Post. "We feel those three forwards are just too good to pass up."
The possible slide of a future star on the blue line could lead to more trade talks near the top of the draft.
The Avs have reportedly turned down a substantial offer from Calgary for the first pick. Elliotte Friedman of CBC cited a source as saying the Flames offered three first-round picks (Nos. 6, 22 and 28) for the No. 1 overall selection.
The Sabres are interested in moving up from No. 8, but the cost appears higher than previous years.
None of the teams near the top (Colorado is followed by Florida, Tampa Bay and Nashville) want to stray too far, so the Sabres' best option will be to attempt multiple trades to leap-frog teams.
taggedNHL Entry Draft