Avalanche drafts MacKinnon No. 1; Jones drops to No. 4

It turns out that Joe Sakic, the Colorado Avalanche executive vice-president of hockey operations, wasn’t bluffing when he told Denver’s CBS affiliate on June 24 that if the NHL draft was held that day, the team would select Halifax Mooseheads centre Nathan MacKinnon.

The Avalanche did indeed take MacKinnon with the No. 1 pick at Sunday’s draft in New Jersey, passing on Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones, the No. 1 ranked North American skater by Central Scouting. MacKinnon was ranked No 2.

With the No. 25 pick, the Canadiens definitely got bigger, selecting 6-foot-5, 228-pound right-winger Michael McCarron of the U.S. Under-18 team. McCarron posted 16-21-37 totals in 59 games with the U.S. national team development program last season and led the team with 182 penalty minutes. He was part of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at this year’s U-18 world championship and is expected to join the OHL’s London Knights next season.

The Vancouver Canucks made the biggest news in the first round, trading goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the No. 9 overall pick. The Canucks used the pick to select London Knights centre Bo Horvat, ranked No. 15 by Central Scouting among North American skaters. 

On June 24, Sakic said of MacKinnon: “I think if we had to do it today, right now, he would probably be the guy, yes. But we still have some time.”

Time didn’t change Sakic’s mind and the Avalanche made it official just after 3 p.m. Sunday as the draft kicked off.

New Avalanche coach Patrick Roy told ESPN.com on June 24: “It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon. MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow.”

Wrote MacKinnon on NHL.com the day before the draft: “I’m hoping to sleep in late (on Sunday) so I don’t have to think about (the draft) all day. I’m still rooming with Seth Jones;  there’s no competitive nature between us. We’ve talked about the top pick, but no matter where we go, it’s going to be an unbelievable experience. Both of us want to begin our careers and it doesn’t matter where that is.”

For MacKinnon, it will be Colorado.

The Florida Panthers, with the No. 2 pick, took Finnish centre Aleksander Barkov, passing on Jones. Barkov was the No. 1 ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting.

With the No. 3 pick, the Tampa Bay Lightning also took a pass on Jones, instead selecting Jonathan Drouin, MacKinnon’s teammate with the Mooseheads. Drouin was ranked No. 3 by Central Scouting.

With the No. 4 pick, the Nashville Predators finally took Jones.

“It’s amazing how things have worked out in my hockey career,” MacKinnon told TSN. “It’s so exciting and hopefully it’s just getting started. This is unbelievable, to be a part of the Colorado Avalanche. I can’t wait to get to training camp.

“It’s always been my dream to go No. 1 – I’d be lying if I told you anything different. Obviously going up against a guy like Seth Jones is very motivating for sure, but my main goal is to win. This is crazy right now. This is unbelievable.”

After dropping to No. 4, Jones told TSN: “First of all, I’m going to worry about myself and trying to get better and try to make Nashville next year and then second of all, I’m going to try to make – in a good way, though – those teams regret not taking me. I think that’s my job and I’m going to do whatever I can to help Nashville win.”

With the No. 5 pick, the Carolina Hurricanes took Swedish centre Elias Lindholm, the No. 3 ranked European skater by Central Scouting.

With the No. 6 pick, the Calgary Flames took Ottawa 67s centre Sean Monahan, the No. 5 ranked North American skater by Central Scouting.

The Edmonton Oilers, at No. 7, took Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenceman Darnell Nurse, ranked No. 4 by Central Scouting.

Other first-round picks:

No. 8 – Buffalo Sabres: Finnish defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen.

No. 9 – The New Jersey Devils traded the pick to Vancouver in exchange for goalie Cory Schneider and the Canucks selected London Knights centre Bo Horvat

No. 10 – Dallas Stars: Russian right-winger Valeri Nichushkin.

No. 11 – Philadelphia Flyers: Rimouski Oceanic defenceman Samuel Morin.

No. 12 – Phoenix Coyotes: London Knights centre Max Domi, the son of former NHLer Tie Domi.

No. 13 – Winnipeg Jets: Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Joshua Morrissey.

No. 14 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Swedish centre Alexander Wennberg.

No. 15 – New York Islanders: Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Ryan Pulock.

No. 16 – Buffalo Sabres: London Knights defenceman Nikita Zadorov.

No. 17 – Ottawa Senators: Edmonton Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar.

No. 18 – The Detroit Red Wings traded the pick to San Jose in exchange for picks No. 20 and 58, and the Sharks selected Everett Silvertips defenceman Mirco Mueller.

 No. 19 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Windsor Spitfires left-winger Kerby Rychel.

No. 20 – Detroit Red Wings: Val d’Or Foreurs right-winger Anthony Mantha, the grandson of Andre Pronovost, who won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens.

No. 21 – Toronto Maple Leafs: Rimouski Oceanic forward Frederik Gauthier.

No. 22 – Calgary Flames: Gatineau Olympiques left-winger Emile Poirier.

No. 23 – Washington Capitals: Swedish left-winger Andre Burakovsky.

No. 24 – Vancouver Canucks: Medicine Hat Tigers forward Hunter Shinkaruk.

No. 25 – Canadiens: 6-foot-5, 228-pound right-winger Michael McCarron of the U.S. Under-18 team.

No. 26 – Anaheim Ducks: Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Shea Theodore.

No. 27 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Russian centre Marko Dano.

No. 28 – Calgary Flames: Regina Pats left-winger Morgan Klimchuk.

No. 29 – Dallas Stars: Guelph Storm centre Jason Dickinson.

No. 30 – Chicago Blackhawks: Plymouth Whalers right-winger Ryan Hartman.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Canucks stun draft by trading goalie Schneider to Devils, montrealgazette.com/nhldraft

More draft coverage at montrealgazette.com/nhldraft

Order of selection for draft, NHL.com

No. 1 picks of the NHL draft, SI.com

Hidden NHL draft gems, SI.com

945 Comments

  1. parkex says:

    Is Bolland still allowed to celebrate with cup in his hometown? Geez.

  2. Un Canadien errant says:

    Who’s the old man calling the picks at the podium? Way better than the Buttman, but the poor guy isn’t the most polished public speaker. He’s hacking up a lung on the microphone now. Should the NHL have hired an announcer?

  3. The Jackal says:

    Just picking up on something UCE said earlier, about the jerseys our picks got having their names on them…. it would appear, following the implications of that, which UCE suggested, that we thus far have picked players we WANTED to pick and not players that were kicking around when our time came.

    IMO, that is good news and it is a good sign, as it shows that we’ve been able to draft guys that the organization thinks will help us more than whichever other players are available.

    ______________________
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  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Bergevin deserves a five game suspension for His choice of a suit today

  5. Un Canadien errant says:

    I say again: William Carrier, Jonathan Diaby, Justin Bailey still left on the board.

  6. The Jackal says:

    Is every Swede just really really ridiculously good looking?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yes. (I have recent first-hand experience.)

      Things deviate at middle age, as they do for most of us, but as a rule, it’s a virtual sea of Kens and Barbies over there. Bonkers.

      • The Jackal says:

        Lol yeah. There are no ugly Swedes.

        ______________________
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        • johnnylarue says:

          I bet a sort of “voluntary scarification clinic” would go over well there. Or like a type of Coke that gives you twice as many zits. You know, anything to stand out from the crowd…

      • neumann103 says:

        I have not been to Sweden but my first time in the Netherlands my reaction was “everyone is an 8.5″.

        Sure there were fewer 10′s than on the streets on NYC or Toronto but a over here you also see a lot of 2′s.

        “Et le but!”

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Very favourable inclined towards the Netherlands as well.

          As a young boy my family often flew on KLM, and the hostesses would treat me like gold with treats and books and dazzling smiles. One or two of them would practice a French phrase or two on me. I was agog, even at six years old.

          I eventually went on a rugby tour of Holland while at University, and the trip was a memorable one if only for all the tall blonde girls. Amazing.

        • The Jackal says:

          Haha, living TO I know exactly what you mean.

          ______________________
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    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Not a tall tale, no word of a lie, but a few years ago I had a couple of Swedish girls as my roommates. The best thing about that was the cavalcade of other Swedish girls who came over to visit and have dinner parties. And yes, there wasn’t an average one in the bunch. My roommate Eric and I were okay with all the drinking and red wine spilled on the carpet, it was a cross we were willing to bear.

  7. jedimyrmidon says:

    The timing of this draft could be pretty good for the Habs.

    They have guys like Subban, Price, Pacioretty, Eller, Gallagher and Galchenyuk in place. The defensemen they drafted like Beaulieu and Tinordi have begun professional careers, and may enter the NHL on a full-time basis within the next couple of years. Then there are guys like Collberg, Hudon and Leblanc still progressing.

    Guys like McCarron and De La Rose probably project to slot in the 2nd or 3rd lines where the Habs sorely lack the types of players you want there, and are forwards so hopefully their development is a bit shorter.

  8. Blondie says:

    Bolland to the Leafs?? I don’t think I like that very much. :(

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Oooh…. crap.

    • johnnylarue says:

      As if playing the Leafs could get any crappier…

    • The Jackal says:

      Guys, I hate it whenever the laffs get a player that was on a good team, but he is not that good. If this knocks Bozak out of the laffs, then this is good news. IMO, Bozak is more of a threat.

      ______________________
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      • johnnylarue says:

        Bolland is a real bastard on the ice. Not fun to play against. But I agree, better him than Bozak where the bottom line is concerned.

        • The Jackal says:

          Yeah. To be honest, I didn’t see him play much. But I think we can handle tough bastards. What I am concerned about is the laffs getting more skill and scoring and shoring up their D. The whole truculence gig has not been working out that well.

          ______________________
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  9. johnnylarue says:

    Crap–Leafs get Bolland!?!?

  10. Un Canadien errant says:

    Bruce Arthur tweets: “All in all, I think we can agree Roberto Luongo is the Michael Jordan of not being traded.”

  11. Chris says:

    Adam Erne just gave a really nice interview. Intelligent, eloquent kid.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I bet our Swede is smart. McCarron is definitely a meat-head though. (But hey, we need those! ;) )

      • The Jackal says:

        Hey let’s not hate on McCarron. He was just like really excited. :D

        But hey this is hockey, you don’t need to be eloquent or be on the honour-roll to succeed. As long as McCarron makes us tough as nails and scares Chara, then that is a great pick!

        ______________________
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  12. jctremblay says:

    Had to take Fucale there. He’s a total steal at that slot, IMO and we need a goalie in our system. Price has 3 years to turn into a “no doubt about it” top 3 elite goaltender and prove it in the playoffs. By then Fucale is ready, IMO. The word of mouth on this kid is off the charts. Had a chat with some Kingston Front people and they think like Craig Button..franchise goalie potential.

  13. jedimyrmidon says:

    I’m getting the impression that the Habs are aiming for guys who are viewed at minimum as 3rd liners or so with the potential to be offensively productive 2nd liners whose defensive game is top notch and who don’t play soft, but gritty.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yeah, there aren’t many obvious first/second-liner “players of destiny” left by the late first round. Habs are hedging their bets on size and attitude.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah for sure. Good move IMO, they get grit/size/character plus the chance of them breaking into the top 6, a good but safe bet.

      Your avatar…. all hail hypno Price?!

      ______________________
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  14. Haberoooo13 says:

    I would’ve preferred Zykov, but getting the top goalie at #36 is ok with me

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …seeing Bowman and Gauthier sharing the same stage leaves One confused and wondering the meaning of Life

  16. HabCez says:

    Hehe.. not disappointed.
    Hope we can now move up and pick Zykov and everyone fear the ‘russian’ factor.

    “Emelin’s the real deal.”
    - HabCez

  17. Chris says:

    Timmins has long held the philosophy that you draft the best player available. At this point, that is Fucale. He wasn’t going to continue slipping.

  18. Hab No Fear says:

    Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen

  19. parkex says:

    Murray Zibanejad & De La Rose. All Swedish! Where are DLR from originally?

  20. The Jackal says:

    Good draft for us so far.

    Like Johnny La Rue said, I don’t know fucale about the rest of the picks, but I do hope we pick up Subban.

    ______________________
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  21. jedimyrmidon says:

    Fucale, hahah. Goaltender controversy will abound!

    • Chris says:

      Not really. He’s got years to develop now.

      • The Jackal says:

        Exactly, good move for us. Gives him lots of time to develop and we also get a very good goalie for the future.

        ______________________
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      • jedimyrmidon says:

        That’s may very well be true, but I bet there will be controversy generated from the fanbase and media.

        • The Jackal says:

          Well, it is Montreal, so you may be right!

          ______________________
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        • Un Canadien errant says:

          How about we nip it in the bud right now and don’t start the craziness here at HIO.

        • Chris says:

          They can try.

          And Bergevin can point at Subban behind Rask in Boston.

          He can point at Markstrom who is only getting ready to be a #1 this coming season despite being drafted in 2008. Lehner is a back-up still from the 2009 draft. And so on.

          Markstrom will be ready by 2015-16, at the earliest. In the meantime, Price can continue to develop and establish himself as a top goalie, while Fucale will give Hamilton outstanding goaltending to help that franchise become elite, which will help the Habs develop their kids.

  22. habsfaninboston says:

    I like it.

  23. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Fucale!!

  24. Chris says:

    You know, I still think there is better value in lower guys, drafting Fucale might be a good move. The #1 goalie in a draft could always be traded, but with Price in Montreal the Habs can take the 3-5 years that a goalie should have to be developed properly.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, I’m not as excited as I could be about this pick, but taking the best goalie in this class this low is a steal I guess.

  25. Un Canadien errant says:

    Of course they go to break on both RDS and TSN right before our pick. Sigh….

    I’ll stand by my Carrier or Zykov comment, but I’ll be white-knuckling it to #55 if we don’t snag Jonathan Diaby.

  26. pmaraw says:

    so far we drafted Bickell and Franzen

  27. johnnylarue says:

    To be honest, I know ‘fucale’ about most of the remaining 2nd rounders…

  28. Hab No Fear says:

    With no goalie in the pipeline, draft Fucale now

  29. Fransaskois says:

    Again, Bailey or Fucale.

  30. Haberoooo13 says:

    Zykov please

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  31. jedimyrmidon says:

    Compher went at #35…

  32. johnnylarue says:

    Whoa… Fucale to Montreal?

  33. habsfaninboston says:

    Fucale next?

  34. habsfaninboston says:

    Buffalo sneaks in front of us.

  35. Un Canadien errant says:

    Sabres grab Zach Fucale now.

  36. Un Canadien errant says:

    I say again: William Carrier, Jonathan Diaby, Robert Hagg, Valentin Zykov, Laurent Dauphin,Justin Bailey still left on the board.

    I vote William Carrier or Valentin Zykov, but what do I know.

  37. HabCez says:

    Good size.. but don’t know much about him.

    “Emelin’s the real deal.”
    - HabCez

  38. Un Canadien errant says:

    We get Jacob De la Rose, a guy who got lots of hype, good size. Swedes I find tend to be undervalued compared to CHL players, so I’m happy with this pick.

  39. neumann103 says:

    Oh Thank god De la Rose

    “Et le but!”

  40. jedimyrmidon says:

    Jacob De La Rose, eh.

  41. Fransaskois says:

    Nevermind, DLR. I like it.

  42. habsfaninboston says:

    Good size.

  43. parkex says:

    Watching Draft on phone & Brazil/Spain live on TV. Anyone else too?

  44. Fransaskois says:

    Calling Bailey or Fucale

  45. Un Canadien errant says:

    We’re going to have lots of options at #34.

  46. Whatever says:

    Roy didn’t want his former player.

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …surprised Zykov not selected yet …I’m still at Dano to Columbus here, so hoping either or both Zykov and/or Diaby

  48. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I wonder if there are Flame fans who are disappointed Flames didn’t pick Fucale since Kipper is retiring.

  49. HabCez says:

    Zykov then Furcale.
    But.. hey.. I like surprises.

    “Emelin’s the real deal.”
    - HabCez

  50. Un Canadien errant says:

    I don’t know if I would prefer Michael McCarron went to London to play at a higher level, or go to college and have more time for skill development. I don’t know anything about the Western Michigan program.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Same here–but it stands to reason that the Hunter bros would understand how to develop a player of his profile.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, Micheal Matheson last year talked about how he preferred to go to U.S. college instead of Junior so he could lift and get bigger, and work on his skills. He said the game schedule in the Q hampers that. So you get a lot of games, lots of game conditions, but you don’t get to work on areas of your game.

        If Western Michigan has a good program with good coaching, I don’t have a problem with either.

        • Chris says:

          Coach is former Blues and Kings coach Andy Murray, who is considered a very good hockey teacher. Western Michigan won the CCHA tournament and finished 2nd in the regular season.

          CCHA features powerhouse programs like Lake Superior State, Michigan, and Ohio State.

  51. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …yeah, just for the feel good aspect, Jordan Subban would be cool

  52. The Jackal says:

    I’m really hoping we pick up Jordan Subban.

    ______________________
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  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …very hot heat wave out here …so My Kids are letting It slide that I have more than a single can of Colt 45 in Our fridge :)

    • The Jackal says:

      Colt 45? Man, that got me in a lot of trouble back in my early undergraduate days. Good times

      Cheers!

      ______________________
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  54. Whatever says:

    We’ve drafted skill. Glad we drafted what we don’t already have.

    Now hire John Leclair to tell McCarron, “do this.”

  55. Un Canadien errant says:

    William Carrier, Jonathan Diaby, Jacob De la Rose, Robert Hagg, Valentin Zykov, Laurent Dauphin,Justin Bailey still left on the board. We’ll get some good players with our next two picks.

  56. twilighthours says:

    Not that I’m important, but here’s a summary of my thoughts:

    There certainly doesn’t seem to be a lot of reports that praise his skill. But you’re not getting that size with obvious top 6 skill at the 25 slot – that’s more like a top-10 pick. 6 feet isn’t big by today’s standards – 6’5″ is now big. He definitely sounds like a project, but might actually turn into a Lucic-type player. And that would be great.

    • johnnylarue says:

      It would be great to see him sign on for the Dale Hunter “personal improvement program”, being Knights property. I imagine he’ll play college for at least a year though…

  57. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My son Quent just corrected Me that MacCarron is a forward

  58. Un Canadien errant says:

    Chicago takes Ryan Hartman, a guy some Montréal fans wanted. I’m not sorry to see him go.

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the positive ? … Big Boy!

    …with the Tin Man will be Montreal’s twin towers

  60. pmaraw says:

    SH!T Hartman gone

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Flames take Morgan Klimchuk, Dallas takes Jason Dickinson. Good, William Carrier and Jonathan Diaby are still possibilities.

  62. Haberoooo13 says:

    Hagg, Zykov, de la Rose, Erne, Hartman

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  63. pmaraw says:

    im just upset he plays rw, not lw lol

  64. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …let’s give-it-up and rename Our Team the Montreal Americans

  65. jedimyrmidon says:

    I’m rather glad the Habs still have #34 and #36.

  66. Fake says:

    ON PICK TO GO IN THE FIRST ROUND WITH THESE BIG NAMES AVAILABLE:

    Fucale
    Zykov
    Hartman
    Erne

    Let me know if I’m missing someone.

  67. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …had something to do and taped following the Jones pick …now watching the Canuck’s selection of Shinkaruk …made mistake to open iPod with alert saying Montreal’s selection of McCarron …so awaiting Montreal’s selection now redundant

    …terribly disappointed Detroit and Weeds got Gauthier and Mantha …I’m in mourning and just want to get drunk to drown my frustration

  68. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Well Erne and Zykov are still there, they might be still available at 34 and 36. ;)

  69. habs-fan-84 says:

    why can’t anyone just admit they have very little idea how these picks are going to turn out. just enjoy the entertainment.

  70. HardHabits says:

    Klimchuk now knows he was Calgary’s 13th choice.

  71. jctremblay says:

    We drafted a gigantic winger. Not bad skill level. The ice surface isn’t getting any bigger/wider so you might as well go large, IMO. It’s an interesting pick….but it sure beats Louis Leblanc types. Good all around small players are a dime a dozen..Chara and Lucic types have changed this league.

  72. Haborama says:

    Hey Commandant, I appreciate your opinions always, but they needed size and this guy may not have lasted untill the 34th pick.

  73. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Blue Jackets take a complete dark horse, as in Marko Dano, an Austrian centre I’ve actually never heard of. Not that it means anything, but maybe my man crushes will be requited at #34 and 36.

  74. frontenac1 says:

    Can he fight?

  75. H.Upmann says:

    Well I guess DD can do a drop pass to McCaron and he’ll literally skate over him


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