As the Colorado Avalanche reduced their 2021 NHL entry draft class to just three following the trade deadline they still hold a couple of important selections, however. Their first round pick still remains and while it’s certain to fall outside the top 20 there are still a lot of options which will still add value, depth and talent to the organization.
The storyline of the recently concluded IIHF U18 World Championship tournament, in which Canada won the gold medal, focused on the budding superstars in the 2022 and 2023 drafts, and rightfully so, but several players in the Avalanche’s range for 2021 put on noteworthy performances. In the past this tournament has heavily influenced Colorado’s scouting staff and in a season as limited as this one no doubt they were watching very closely.
Just to note these are all realistic mid to late first rounders. Some may land higher on public lists but they all can’t be top 20 picks either. The Avalanche’s surviving third round pick is an important one too but the upcoming 2021 Draft Plan will highlight some options in that range too.
🇺🇸 LW Sasha Pastujov led the Americans in scoring with eight points and five goals, many of them of the clutch variety as seen below. He doesn’t have an obvious standout attribute but contributes in all areas and manages to make an impact.
The Americans complete the comeback!
— Elite Prospects (@eliteprospects) May 2, 2021
🇺🇸 LD Sean Behrens had flashes of dynamic ability and quality defense and although both are a work in progress he showed why teams should be intrigued on draft day. Behrens is a DU commit as well.
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) April 30, 2021
🇨🇦 LW Brennan Othmann can score like all the high end Canadians in the tournament but brings some sandpaper and hits to his game as well as seen below. He scored in the gold medal game in which he had his best game and converted on three with six points overall in the tournament as a complimentary player on the top line.
⏪ Throwback to the first period when Brennan Othmann trucked Simon Edvinsson. Some payback by the Swedes with the return hit before the goal. #U18Worldshttps://t.co/JLHNBJelJw pic.twitter.com/DJO3t4dmsG
— Elite Prospects (@eliteprospects) April 28, 2021
🇷🇺 RW Nikita Chibrikov was captain of the silver medal winning Russian squad and ended up fourth in tournament scoring with 13 points. He leads with both skill and will with some game changing punch.
Russia's captain wins it in overtime!
From down 5-1 to wining 7-6 in OT, Russia 🇷🇺 ttakes down the Americans🇺🇸!!!
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) April 27, 2021
🇷🇺 C Fyodor Svechkov was also a big part of the success of the runner-ups as a well-rounded defensive player who can play center but also put up 10 points for the team as well.
Fyodor Svechkov (#2021NHLDraft) makes it 8-1 Russia with a quick finish through the five-hole.
— Elite Prospects (@eliteprospects) May 1, 2021
🇸🇪 RW Fabian Lysell is a firecracker of slick talent and it showed with nine points in seven games at the tournament. Some questions about his size and defensive commitment might slide him closer to Colorado’s range in the draft but he was a bright spot for Sweden.
Fabian Lysell are you kidding me!? pic.twitter.com/qhMDgMcguI
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) May 4, 2021
🇫🇮 RD Aleksi Heimosalmi had a true breakout at this tournament leading all defensemen scoring with eight points and was named best defenseman of the tournament ahead of likely top five selections Simon Edvinsson and Brandt Clarke. The highly intelligent smooth skater is setting up to rise on a lot of draft boards.
— Josh Bell (@JoshuaBell31) April 27, 2021
🇨🇿 LD Stanislav Svozil carried a heavy load for the Czechs on the backend which at times showed his game is still pretty raw. Though he only registered one assist Svozil showed his skill in certain moments such as this sequence when he hit the post in the quarterfinals.
This game is going to shootout.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 30, 2021