Although the Colorado Avalanche do not hold a first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, they will certainly be watching how the landscape develops on Friday night during Round 1 (Friday, 5:00 p.m. MT) and preparing for Rounds 2-7 on Saturday. The Avs hold five picks in the draft -- Nos. 41, 72, 132, 162 and 192 -- and chief scout Rick Pracey told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post that a quality player could easily slide to No. 41 this year:
"It's one of those situations where, maybe at 41, you're sitting back and there's a little bit of excitement saying 'OK, well, if they're having so much trouble at the top trying to figure out this thing, what type of players might fall through?' " Pracey said. "I don't think it really changes anything in terms of the way we do our job. And again, you have to be prepared for everything that comes our way. So we've been through the process. We've looked at the top kids. But for us, we're at 41 and we think there's going to be a player there."
Dater says Colorado is unlikely to select a goalie at No. 41 unless a top-rated prospect unexpectedly slides, as team likes Semyon Varlamov in net for now and feels good about the future with Calvin Pickard, Sami Aittokallio, Kent Patterson and Kieran Millan in their system.