With the NHL Draft approaching (June 26-27), we will find out what direction Colorado goes with the No. 10 pick. After a mightily disappointing season last year, the Avalanche are keen on making the 2015-16 season a redemption season.

Leading up to the draft, coach Patrick Roy and vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic have repeatedly said that they will select the best player available with the tenth overall pick.

Let’s take a look at some of the players that could be headed to Denver in the ten spot.

#1  Lawson Crouse (age 18)

Left Wing, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

At 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds, Crouse led Kingston with 29 goals this season adding 22 assists as well. He also gave a good showing for Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal.

NHL Scout Chris Edwards had this to say:

“He’s a big-bodied guy, protects the puck and is solid on his skates. He can see the ice and barrels through everyone. He’s got good hands to go along with that big body.”

Check out some video highlights of Crouse below:


#2 Ivan Provorov (age 18)

Defenseman, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

The 6-foot 201-pound Russian finished fourth among Western Hockey League defensemen with 61 points in 60 games. Provorov added 13 points in 19 postseason games, helping the Wheat Kings to the WHL Championship Series. Provorov was also the youngest member of Russia’s silver medal-winning team at the 2015 World Junior Championships. Adding him to the mix with Erik John Johnson and Tyson Barrie could lead to an exciting defensive core for the Avs in the future.

NHL Scout John Williams had this to say:

“He’s very composed with the puck, has excellent vision and knows where everybody is on the ice. He has good hockey IQ and takes advantage when he sees an opening both offensively and defensively. He will play a physical game and can separate the man from the puck.”

Check out some video highlights of Provorov below:


#3 Mikko Rantanen (age 18)

Right Wing, TPS Turku (Finland)

Rantanen is well-known for his playmaking ability, hockey IQ and having a good shot. With Jarome Iginla getting older, Rantanen could be a useful young player that could have an immediate impact for the Avalanche. At 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds, Rantanen averaged more than 16 minutes of ice time per game in Finland’s top professional league. Additionally, he performed really well in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, leading Finland with four goals.

European scout Goran Stubb had this to say:

“He’s a physically strong power forward with very good playmaking abilities, smart, active and involved on every shift. He has very good speed and quickness for a big man and plays with authority. He’s difficult to check, protects the puck well and has good hands.”

Check out some video highlights of Rantanen below:


#4 Zach Werenski (age 17)

Defenseman, University of Michigan

Werenski, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound freshman already owns a little piece of history, becoming the youngest player to play in NCAA hockey. He led all Michigan defenders with 25 points and a team-high 59 blocked shots. Werenski also picked up accolades with the All-Big Ten Hockey First Team and the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. With the Avalanche lacking defensive depth, Werenski could be a great pickup on draft day.

NHL Scout Greg Rajanen had this to say:

“He’s such a cool, calm and collected player. He’s smart, always in the right spot, moves the puck and makes all the right plays.”

Check out some video highlights of Werenski below:


#5 Pavel Zacha (age 18)

Center/Left Wing, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

In his first season with the Sting, Zacha finished with 32 points in 37 games. At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha is a big body that could give the Avalanche a more imposing look. Zacha is a strong skater and would help the Avs immensely with bringing the puck up the middle. Also, former NHL player Petr Nedved, who was selected second overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1990 and played in 982 career NHL games, has mentored Zacha to help prepare him for his transition to North America.

NHL scout Chris Edwards had this to say:

“He’s got high-end skill and is an excellent competitor; he plays an excellent two-way game. He’s physical and solid on his skates and can separate guys from the puck.”

Check out some video highlights of Zacha below:


#6 Timo Meier (age 18)

Right Wing, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

This past season, Meier led Halifax with 44 goals and finished second on the team with 90 points in total. Meier also set a franchise record with 23 power play goals. After the season, Meier was named the league’s best professional prospect. At 6-foot-1 and 209 pounds, Meier can play on the wing or down the center. With a eye for goal, this could be a another solid pick on draft day.

NHL scout Dan Marr had this to say:

“He’s a solid and strong skater both with and without the puck, has high-end hockey sense and reads the play very well. He is very effective in 1-on-1 situations.”

Check out some video highlights of Meier below:


This is a select handful of the possible targets that could fall to the Avalanche when they draft 10th on Saturday, with all the players listed above having a potential draft range anywhere from 6-15.

Because the Avs have a number of unrestricted free agents to sign next summer, this draft pick will need to go a long way in helping the Avalanche to a successful future.

Sammy Mugharbil, a Mile High Sports intern and student at MSU-Denver, contributed to this report.