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NHL HomeGrown

By Brian Stubits and Adam Gretz
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Paul Stastny (AP)  
Paul Stastny (AP)  
Imagine an NHL without free agency or trades, that once a player is drafted with a team he stays with that team for his entire career. What would the rosters look like? We at Eye on Hockey will take a look at the Home-Grown Teams of all 30 franchises -- three lines, two defensive pairs and two goaltenders. Three lines and two D pairs because this doesn't include undrafted free agents, only drafted players. We want to see who has drafted the best.

Whether it was in Quebec as the Nordiques or Colorado, the Avalanche have done a solid job drafting over the years. The problem has been keeping those guys around, especially on defense.

Line 1: Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Radim Vrbata

The future is looking good with Landeskog, the reigning Calder Trophy winner. He was very impressive in his first season and figures to only grow. Stastny has dropped in production a little the last two years but is still a 20-goal, 50-plus points guy. Then you add in Vrbata, who was traded away at just 21 years old, and his 35-goal season and you have potential. It's not an amazing top line, but certainly not the worst you'll see.

Line 2: Alex Tanguay -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Jones

Tanguay hasn't been quite the same goal-scorer that he was when he left the Avs after 2005-06 but he has continued to put up points largely off of assists (13-36=49 in 64 games last season). Along with O'Reilly's play-making ways (37 assists last season), David Jones would likely enjoy this, probably adding to back-to-back 20-goal seasons.

Line 3: Chris Stewart -- Matt Duchene -- Milan Hejduk

As you can see, the scoring depth stretches to the third line for the Avs. I flirted with the idea of putting Duchene on the second line on the wing but the need for a center on the third was more important. Hejduk is a career-long Av in the twilight while Stewart is looking to rebound. Stewart has to flip wings, it certainly won't be Hejduk. The potential is very big but this line could bust, too.

Offensive Scratch: T.J. Galiardi

Galiardi doesn't light up the score sheet by any means, but he'll play his role well enough on the left wing. Other possibilities include Brad Richardson, Wojtek Wolski and Brandon Yip.

Defensive Pairing 1: Kevin Shattenkirk -- Robyn Regehr

This might be where it gets tough for the Avs. Shattenkirk brings the scoring touch while Regehr the punishing defense. This is the start of a strong defensive corps that features five players who are no longer in Colorado.

Defensive Pairing 2: Johnny Boychuk -- Tom Gilbert

Starting to see that this defense is going to be pretty punishing. Both Boychuck and Gilbert are capable of eating up a lot of quality defensive minutes.

Defensive Scratch: John-Michael Liles

Just in case they feel like a little more offense is needed from the blue line, Liles is here. The former fifth-rounder had 7 goals and 20 assists last season for the Maple Leafs in 66 games.

Goaltending: Tim Thomas -- Peter Budaj

Not a lot of people remember that Thomas was actually drafted by the Nordiques in 1994, but he was. Obviously he never played for the Avalanche in real life, but here he is the starter, assuming we can talk him out of that sabbatical. The backup is a battle between Peter Budaj and Brent Johnson but Budaj wins based on the younger age.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @StubitsCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
 
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