Following one of the worst seasons in the NHL’s modern era, the Colorado Avalanche entered the night with the league’s best odds at a top three pick. The Avalanche had an 18% chance at picking first overall, a 16% chance at the second overall pick and a 14.1% chance at the third selection, leaving a 52% near coin flip chance that they would fall to fourth overall.

Of course the Avalanche and lady luck haven’t been friends in quite some time. After a season filled with bad play and bad bounces, it was only fair that she struck one last time, sinking the Avalanche down to fourth overall. Colorado was leapfrogged by the New Jersey Devils, who boasted an 8.5% chance at the 1st overall pick and then the Philadelphia Flyers, whose jumped all the way from 13th to second overall on 2.4% odds. Finally, kicking the Avalanche out of the top three was division rival Dallas. The Stars struck gold on a 6.4% chance and moved up five spots.

While there is no franchise altering talent at the top of this draft like Connor McDavid in 2015 or Auston Matthews in 2016, the 2017 draft still boasts an impressive trio of talent at the top of the draft. Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the leading candidates for the top pair of picks, while defenseman Miro Heiskanen has made a real late season run at the top three.

After pick three, when the Avalanche take the draft floor, the picture becomes fuzzy. Forwards Owen Tippett, Gabriel Vilardi, Casey Mittelstadt, and Cody Glass, among others, have all made a case for the fourth overall selection, but in truth, the field is wide open. The Avalanche could still find an impactful player at fourth overall, but with no obvious choice, it’s going to take a little luck and some very savvy scouting.

Either way, the Avs’ uphill battle towards relevance just got a little steeper.

Cole Hamilton

Cole is Vancouver born but a Colorado native at heart, spending 21 years in the Denver and Boulder area. This CU Boulder graduate started covering the Avalanche with Mile High Hockey in 2011 and after four years took over briefly as the site’s managing editor. After a year trapped in Chicago Blackhawk’s territory Cole is back in Boulder writing on the Avalanche and their prospects.

  • Durdles

    It just feels right, doesn’t it?

  • Randy

    Three more losses in a few minutes is tough to take. Now that we’re out of the top three, they should try to work a deal with Vegas to drop a couple more spots and convince the Golden Knights to take the Soderberg contract off their hands. It’s worth a try. Maybe they should trade down a little farther and take a shot at Callen Foote. He’s already better than a couple of their defensemen even if he doesn’t have his dad’s toughness.

  • It certainly was a dismal way to end a dismal season. Can’t say I was surprised. At this point as an Av’s fan I have to put my faith and trust in Joe. BTW that man has aged like he was POTUS. I want to see this team get rid of some expensive contrat and a lot of cheapies and hire one or two serious defense-man. I don’t think the idea of drafting Footies son. He will grow into his dad’s toughness. He has it in the genes.

  • Jamie Andrews

    It is darkest before dawn?

  • nemesis44uk

    I’m not surprised. The Avs couldn’t win a bunfight in a bakery right now and this continues their stellar season. Just when you hit rock bottom, the Avs break out the dynamite…..