NHL Draft Hockey MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon, a center, pulls on a Colorado Avalanche sweater after being chosen first overall in the first round of the NHL draft June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


Nathan MacKinnon, F – No. 1 overall selection in 2013

One of the league’s top forwards, MacKinnon, 29, has delivered on the promise. He was eighth in league scoring in 2020-21 with 20 goals and 45 assists. He’s averaged well over a point per game the past four seasons and was third in the NHL in that category this season (1.35).

Gabriel Landeskog, F – First round (second) in 2011

Landeskog has been the Avalanche captain since 2012, when he was 19. He can often be found in front of the net, rooting out rebounds or tipping pucks on the top line and power-play unit.

Cale Makar, D – First round (fourth) in 2017

Makar scored in his first game after making the jump from college, which happened to be a playoff game. That wasn’t a blip. The 2020 Calder Trophy winner played this season with newcomer Devon Toews on the top pairing.

Bowen Byram, D – First round (fourth) in 2019

The Avalanche elected to hang on to Byram after he joined the team following World Juniors. The offense didn’t come immediately, but the 19-year-old was finding ways to contribute before an injury derailed his regular season.

Mikko Rantanen, F – First round (10th) in 2015

In a durable, consistent season, Rantanen led the team in goals (30) and points (66). Rantanen has become one of the standouts of a loaded 2015 draft class.

Tyson Jost, F – First round (10th) in 2016

Jost has played with just about everyone and just about everywhere. He took another step in 2020-21 and centered the top line at the end of the season with MacKinnon out.

Martin Kaut, F – First round (16th) in 2018

Kaut appeared in just five games with the Avalanche this season, but had six goals and 16 points in 19 games with the Colorado Eagles.

Alex Newhook, F – First round (16th) in 2019

Newhook signed out of Boston College in March and eight AHL games (and nine points) later, he had graduated to the NHL, where he remained at the start of the playoffs. He has three assists in six games and has proven to be crafty and quick.

Conor Timmins, D – Second round (32nd) in 2017

Timmins missed an entire season due to concussion issues but has filled in well as an injury replacement late in the season.

Adam Werner, G – Fifth round (131st) in 2016

Werner has been recalled to the taxi squad but hasn’t made an appearance for the Avalanche in 2020-21. There would have to be serious injury concerns for him to make a playoff appearance, but as the 2020 postseason showed, anything is possible.


Matt Calvert, F – Signed July 1, 2018 (previous team was Columbus Blue Jackets)

Calvert is a noticeable fourth-line presence when healthy. He appeared in 18 games this season, but not since March 23.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, F – Signed July 1, 2019 (previous team was Vegas Golden Knights)

Bellemare centers that fourth line with an ever-changing pair of wingers. He offers grit and the occasional goal.

Joonas Donskoi, F – Signed July 1, 2019 (previous team was San Jose Sharks)

Streaky but dangerous, Donskoi set a career high with 17 goals, highlighted by the second-fastest hat trick in franchise history March 31.

Jayson Megna, F – Signed July 2, 2019 (previous team was Vegas Golden Knights)

Megna was an injury replacement this season. He had two assists in seven games.

Dan Renouf, D – Signed July 2, 2019 (previous team was Carolina Hurricanes)

Often in need of an extra defenseman, the team often turned to Renouf, who often didn’t see much ice time but stood up for teammates.

Valeri Nichushkin, F – Signed Aug. 19, 2019 (previous team was Dallas Stars)

Nichushkin’s NHL career got a lift when he signed with the Avalanche after two stints with the Stars. He’s a second- or third-line forward and consistent forechecker.

Keifer Sherwood, F – Signed Oct. 9, 2020 (previous team was Anaheim Ducks)

Sherwood was called up to fill in several times, totaling 16 games. He had three assists.

Devon Toews, D – Signed Oct. 27, 2020 (previous team was New York Islanders)

Toews was a free-agent boon for the Avalanche in 2020-21. He made himself vital and recorded a career-high 31 points.


Sheldon Dries, F – Signed on July 2, 2018 from AHL’s Colorado Eagles

Dries appeared in three-regular season games for Colorado but has 10 points in 18 games for the Eagles.

Logan O’Connor, F – Signed July 23, 2018 from AHL’s Colorado Eagles

A former Denver Pioneer, O’Connor was on the verge of becoming a roster mainstay when he suffered an injury that required surgery.

Liam O’Brien, F – Signed March 30, 2021 from AHL’s Colorado Eagles

O’Brien provided a physical edge in 12 games with the big club.


J.T. Compher, F – From Buffalo Sabres on June 26, 2015, with second-round pick in 2015, Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov for Jamie McGinn and Ryan O’Reilly

Another player who has taken the ice with just about everyone, Compher scored a hat trick in a pivotal game against the L.A. Kings on May 12.

Samuel Girard, D – In three-team deal on Nov. 5, 2017, in which the Nashville Predators sent Girard, a second-round pick in 2018 and Vladislav Kamenev to Colorado, the Avalanche sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa sent two picks (protected 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 third-round pick) and Shane Bowers and Andrew Hammond to Colorado and Kyle Turris to Nashville.

Girard, who turned 23 on May 12, has developed into a reliable player on both ends of the ice.

Ryan Graves, D – From New York Rangers on Feb. 26, 2018, for Chris Bigras

Once at the top of the league in plus-minus, Graves' rocky start to the season evened out. He appeared in all but two games, tops among defensemen.

Philipp Grubauer, G – From Washington Capitals on June 22, 2018 with Brooks Orpik for second-round pick in 2018

Second in NHL goals-against average (1.95), eighth in save percentage (.922), and tied for first in shutouts (seven), Grubauer didn’t always see 25-plus shots on any given night, but he always gave the team a boost.

Andre Burakovsky, F – From Washington Capitals on June 28, 2019, for draft picks (second- and third-round picks in 2020) and Scott Kosmachuk

Burakovsky used his tricky wrist shot often and ended the season on a hot streak — 12 points in eight straight games.

Jacob MacDonald, D – From Florida Panthers on June 29, 2019 for Dominic Toninato

Not a name most expected to see on the Avalanche roster as often as it was there, MacDonald was close to a regular in 2020-21. He appeared in 33 NHL games, a massive increase from his previous two in 2018-19, and recorded a goal and eight assists.

Nazem Kadri, F – From Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2019, with 2020 third-round draft pick for Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and 2020 sixth-round draft pick

Kadri’s point production slowed down the stretch, but with the Avalanche he’s shown a propensity for late, important goals.

Brandon Saad, F – From Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 10, 2020, for Anton Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov

Saad was a veteran presence on the second and third lines for most of the season, finishing with 15 goals and nine assists. He had goals in three of four games before he went out with a lower-body injury April 24.

Kyle Burroughs, D – From New York Islanders on Oct. 11, 2020, for A.J. Greer

Burroughs made his NHL debut and recorded his first assist in five games with the Avalanche this season.

Jonas Johansson, G – From Buffalo Sabres on March 20, 2021, for 2021 sixth-round draft pick

Johansson came over from eventual last-place finisher Buffalo to give the Avalanche more depth in net. He recorded his first shutout and was in net when Colorado clinched the Presidents’ Cup.

Patrik Nemeth, D – From Detroit Red Wings on April 9, 2021, for 2022 fourth-round draft pick

Nemeth returned to Colorado at the trade deadline. He was described as rusty in his return from an injury but deepened a depleted blue line.

Devan Dubnyk, G – From San Jose Sharks on April 10, 2021, for fifth-round pick in 2021 and Greg Pateryn

Former Pepsi Center/Ball Arena villain Dubnyk changed sides at the trade deadline for a Cup run. He was in net when the Avalanche clinched a playoff spot, but missed the last few weeks of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Carl Soderberg, F – From Chicago Blackhawks on April 12, 2021, for Josh Dickinson and Ryder Rolston

Soderberg rejoined his old team at the trade deadline. He was missing from the lineup several times down the stretch.

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