Will Colorado take Nathan MacKinnon with No. 1 pick in draft?

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

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The Stanley Cup Final just ended, but there is no time for rest in the NHL with the draft being held on Sunday. And there's still a question as to what the Colorado Avalanche are going to do with the No. 1 pick.

If we're to believe the words of new coach Patrick Roy and director of hockey operations Joe Sakic, it sounds like they're leaning toward taking Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with that pick.

"It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon," Roy told Craig Custance of ESPN The Magazine on Monday afternoon. "MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow."

Roy went on to tell Custance that MacKinnon would slide into Colorado's third-line center role, presumably behind Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene.

Sakic echoed a similar sentiment during an appearance on Denver television by saying if the draft were held on Monday, MacKinnon would "probably be the pick.

What all of this would mean for Paul Stastny, who still has two years and more than $12 million remaining on his current deal, remains to be seen. Perhaps a position switch or a trade would be in order. It wouldn't be the first time that Stastny's name has come up in trade rumors in recent years.

It has long been assumed that Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones would be the top pick in this year's draft, but the Avalanche have openly talked about how they view him as being behind the top three forwards -- MacKinnon, Halifax teammate Jonathan Drouin and Alexander Barkov.

 
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