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2012 NHL Draft Grades: With No First Round Pick, Avalanche Given 'Incomplete' Grade By SB Nation

The Colorado Avalanche lost any intrigue that the 2012 draft would have brought back in free agency last season when they traded their first round pick in 2012 and a second round pick as well to the Washington Capitals for Semyon Varlamov.

That first rounder ended up being the 11th overall pick in this year's draft, which the Caps used to pick up Filip Forsberg, who fell a long way in the draft despite being ranked as high as the third best player by some scouts, possibly because he had informed teams he would be returning to Sweden for another season of play after being drafted.

SB Nation's NHL Draft Grades for the Western Conference, released at the tail end of the draft's second day, don't provide a grade for the Avalanche because they didn't pick until 41st overall, where they selected Mitchell Heard. There is a bit of a knock on the team for trading the pick that ended up being Forsberg, though.

Colorado Avalanche: With no first-round pick, the Avs are likely kicking themselves for giving up the pick that became Filip Forsberg to the Capitals. INCOMPLETE

I'm sure most Avalanche fans would disagree with that analysis, mostly because that pick which was traded for an unproven prospect who will miss at least a year playing in Sweden was swapped for a goaltender who proved he could be elite at times last season. Few Avs fans are complaining about having a future goalie who has shown stud potential in Varlamov compared to Forsberg.

Most analysts didn't think Forsberg would fall that far so there's no telling if the Avs would have selected him there anyway. Colorado has shown that they don't mind picking 'off the board' as it were before, such as when they selected Joey Hishon a few drafts back.

We'll have to wait a few years to see if any of the later round picks by the Avs, specifically Heard, turn into anything special. They've gotten good value in later rounds with guys like David Jones before.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey. For coverage of the entire NHL Draft, visit SB Nation NHL.