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2011 NHL Mock Draft: The Sporting News Predicts Avalanche Will Select Adam Larsson

With just one day left until the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, many publications are putting out their final mock drafts. The Sporting News sees the Colorado Avalanche taking Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson with the second overall selection.

Scout’s take: "He’s a smart, creative puck mover who also has excellent defensive positioning."

Read more about Larsson here.

An unusual mock draft, as defenseman Doug Hamilton goes fourth overall and universal top five picks Gabriel Landeskog and Sean Couturier fall to sixth and seventh, respectively. Swedish forward Mika Zibanejad slips all the way to 13th in this mock, even though he is viewed as one of the top players in the second tier of talent and a likely selection between the sixth and ninth selection in this year's draft.

Colorado selects top goalie prospect John Gibson in this mock.

Scout’s take: "I like how he presents himself. He’s in control, he’s big (6-3, 205), there’s not much room for players to shoot (around him), and he’s been very consistent over the course of the year."

Gibson is a likely first rounder, though his name will probably be called towards the end of that round. You can never have enough goalie prospects (the Avalanche have notoriously struggled to develop their own star goaltender), but with 2010 second round selection Calvin Pickard enjoying an excellent season -- and already signing an entry level offer from Colorado, a sign of their faith in him -- the Gibson selection at #11 doesn't really compute. If a player such as Couturier or Landeskog falls out of the top six, the Avalanche may trade up for his rights. At the very least, they would select a skilled forward such as Zibanejad if he falls out of the top ten.

A first round of Larsson and Zibanejad looks great in the future. Reaching for Gibson? Seems unlikely.