The NHL Draft starts tonight at 5pm MT, and the Avalanche hold the 17th overall pick. Mile High Hockey has a preview on the Avs' draft needs here. The prediction at the end of the article predicts the Avs will select Austin Watson, a right winger:
Reasoning: Watson's draft stock is rising, but he is expected to be taken in the 12-18 range, right where the Avs are picking. As a winger, Watson has size, good speed and doesn't shy away from physical play. Scouts have questioned his offensive output as a professional player, but at worse, you are looking at a solid third line player in the future.
Watson wasn't my first choice, but I eliminated other possibilities due to previous trends. I eliminated European players as well as high school and Canadian Junior Hockey League players. Even though Jack Campbell [a goalie] fell to pick 17 in both of my mock drafts, don't expect him to slip down that far on Friday.
Stay tuned to the NHL Draft, as it's always an exciting and fun event.