Yes, there’s still a draft upcoming.
Draft planning for the Colorado Avalanche will look a lot different and not just because of the world crisis but because they do not hold a top pick in this draft. As of now the Avs do still own their first round selection but how the picks are ordered in the back half of the first round has yet to be determined though safe to assume the Avs will select no earlier than 20th overall.
Pushing off the draft into October will have consequences and an early one has already begun to emerge as draft eligible Europeans are appearing back on the ice and getting started on their draft +1 seasons. The current plan is for many European leagues to begin on time or close to it in the fall while their North American counterparts wait for the end of the year or possibly the start of 2021.
Summer is the time for World Junior Championship preparation camps with scrimmage games between two neighboring countries and that has continued for many Europeans. In late July the German U20 squad met in Switzerland and the Czech Republic U20s hosted Slovakia. There were many draft eligible players vying for a spot on their respective national teams come December but also eager to show more of their game to NHL scouts. As such here are four players who are possibly available for the Avalanche in the first round.
First up, a duo of German of left shot wingers expected to go off the board sometime in the second half of the first round.
John-Jason Peterka has the motor and speed to make an impact as a complimentary player. His hard shot and quick release was evident in this setting and he read off of top prospect Tim Stützle very well. At 5-foot-11 and 192 lbs he held up in the men’s league with Munchen where he scored 11 points including 7 goals in 42 games. For the Avalanche Peterka could become another offensive wi gee at their disposal and play with the pace and jam head coach Jared Bednar prefers.
Rankings: Bob McKenzie 23, Central Scouting 7 (EU skaters), Hockey Prospect 24
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) July 20, 2020
Lucas Reichel is a player who can do it all with speed, smarts and creativity. In this tournament he drove the second line himself and ended up as Germany’s most effective player. He also spent the season playing in Germany’s top league for Eisbaren Berlin and scored 24 points with 12 goals in 42 games. Intelligence and versatility will get him to the NHL once Reichel fills out his 6-foot and 170lbs frame. He is a player in which the Avalanche could put in any number of roles and find success.
Rankings: Bob McKenzie 20, Central Scouting 11 (EU skaters), Hockey Prospect 15
Lukas Reichel had two goals today in the 3-2 victory for Germany.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) July 21, 2020
And for the Czechs, also a duo of centers who could also last through the first round who are good fits for the Avalanche.
Jan Mysak is a responsible left shot top line player and fell back on that a little too much in his tournament week. His game is smart and hard working but can be subtle at times. Mysak has shown he can score when he started his season with the men’s team Litvinov in the Czech Extraliga and chipped in nine points. After the World Junior Championship Mysak joined the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL where he made immediate impact scoring 25 points in 22 games with 15 goals. The 5-foot-10 and 175lbs center would give the Avalanche another option of a middle six forward who can slot on any line.
Rankings: Bob McKenzie 34, Central Scouting 28, Hockey Prospect 26
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) July 24, 2020
Jaromir Pytlik is more of a long shot first round sort who will possibly get scooped up in the second or third round and probably before the Avalanche use that Toronto third round selection. He had the most impressive showing in this look of the four however. With six points in three games as he was involved in every aspect of the game and drove the Czechs as their top center. Pytlik uses his 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs frame and right shot to add a power element to his game. He had a successful season in North America with the SSM Greyhounds in the OHL contributing 50 points with 22 goals in 56 games. For the Avalanche Pytlik could fall in that versatile secondary scoring line as well in a couple years.
Ranking: Bob McKenzie 74, Central Scouting 46, Hockey Prospect 94
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) July 24, 2020