In Day 2 of the NHL draft Saturday, the Avalanche continued to focus on play-making defensemen and remained quiet on the trade front.
With the first pick of the second round at the United Center in Chicago, the Avs chose Conor Timmins, a 6-foot-1, 184-pound defensemen who has similar attributes to Colorado’s first-round pick on Friday, Cale Makar — the draft’s highest-rated North American defenseman.
Both Makar and Timmins are considered skilled, puck-moving defensemen capable of quarterbacking the power play. Makar is loosely compared to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, and Timmins to Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk.
Timmins, ranked fourth among North American defensemen, plays major-junior in the Ontario Hockey League for Sault Ste. Marie, where he amassed 61 points (54 assists) in 67 games. His plus-53 rating was fifth-best in the OHL.
In the end, Colorado collected two of the top four draft-eligible defensemen in the continent. In the previous 10 drafts, the Avs chose just two defensemen in the first round — Shattenkirk in 2007 (14th overall) and Duncan Siemens in 2011 (No. 11).
The Avs didn’t have third-round pick — it was traded to New Jersey for defenseman Eric Gelinas — but they went on to select three forwards, a goalie and another defenseman in the seventh and final round. Colorado, despite finishing with a league-low 48 points last season, did not make a trade during the two-day draft.
Avalanche Day 2 draft selections:
Second round (No. 32)
— D Conor Timmins, 6-foot-1, 184-pounds Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Fourth round (No. 94)
— F Nick Henry, 5-11, 190 Regina (WHL)
Fourth round (No. 114)
— G Petr Kvaca, 6-1, 174 C. Budejovice (Czech)
Fifth round (No. 125)
— C Igor Shvyrev 6-1, 191 Magnitogorsk (Russia)
Sixth round (No. 156)
— F Denis Smirnov, 5-8, 185 Penn State (NCAA)
Seventh round (No. 187)
— D Nick Leivermann, 5-10, 194 Eden Prairie (Minn. HS)
Avalanche selection Friday:
First round (No. 4)
— D Cale Makar, 5-11, 187 Brooks (AJHL)