Colorado’s championship was betrayed by one risky decision that now seems ridiculously easy – These NHL clubs collapsed

Colorados championship was betrayed by one risky decision that now

The Colorado Avalanche’s road to becoming the NHL champion went through historical misery, setbacks and wise decisions. The trip also included bad luck, which turned into a stroke of luck.

The core of the Avalanche was made of their own reserves, just like the best NHL teams of recent times.

Tampa Bay (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point), Pittsburgh (Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Yevgeni Malkin), Chicago (Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane) and Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar) showed an example of how own bookings are the best guarantee for the club’s success.

The first seed for last summer’s Stanley Cup was sown already in the summer of 2011. Colorado was able to reserve second place and caught the one who excelled in the high-quality junior league by Gabriel Landeskog. On September 4, 2012, the Swede was named the youngest captain in NHL history at the age of only 19 years and 286 days.

From the booking event of 2011, numerous current superstars of the series emerged in the taala league. Considering Landeskog’s playmaking skills and leadership, the Avalanche made an excellent choice.

Two years later, Colorado used its No. 1 pick to Nathan MacKinnon, who has been a top 5 player in the whole world for years. Before the draft, either MacKinnon or Seth Jones, which eventually went number four to Nashville. Now it’s easy to say that the phenomenally skilled and hungry MacKinnon was a perfect fit for the Avalanche.

From then on, Colorado has hit a gold vein every other year. 2015 the club trusted Mikko Rantaseenwhich was free at number 10.

– At the time, I didn’t think that we would ever get Rantas as the tenth leader in Avalanche’s talent search in Europe Joni Lehto stated after the championship For Iltalehti (you switch to another service).

In 2015, the offer was excellent throughout, as almost all of the first-round bookings have grown into good NHL players and many even stars.

The best success in the Avalanche’s recent booking history came in 2017. The team had a miserable season. Colorado lost 60 games and scored just 48 points, which at that point was the fewest in a single season in the modern era.

To top it all off, the Avalanche also lost the roster draw. In the weighted draw, Colorado had an 18 percent chance of getting the No. 1 seed, but slipped to New Jersey’s 8.5 percent chance.

The number one reservation was generally called either Nico Hischieria or Nolan Patrick. The Devils took Hischier and Philadelphia took Patrick in the second round.

The fourth ranked Avalanche desperately needed a top defenseman. After the top two decided, the club rubbed hands together, because they were available Miro Heiskanen and Cale Makarwhich Avalanche’s talent search had paid special attention to.

Dallas took Heiskanen and Colorado GM Joe Sakic announced Makari’s name.

Someone could see in Sakic’s being an extraordinary tension and disappointment that the previously tougher names had passed. Only an insider knows who the Avalanche would have chosen if the club had the first pick in their hands. Perhaps the bad luck of the draw turned into the club’s victory.

Either way, Colorado had done its homework. Makar was ranked in the NHL talent search (CSS) list as the ninth best player at the booking event, but the “Avs” made him a four-way reservation.

Now that decision seems ridiculously easy, but then it wasn’t.

The core of championship teams

Tampa Bay double champions 2020 and 2021

Ryan McDonagh (Montreal booking 2007 at number 12)

Alex Killorn (own reservation 2007 with number 77)

Steven Stamkos (own reservation 2008 with number 1)

Victor Hedman (own reservation 2009 with number 2)

Nikita Kutsherov (own reservation 2011 with number 58)

Ondrej Palat (own reservation 2011 with number 208)

Andrei Vasilevski (own reservation 2012 with number 19)

Brayden Point (own booking 2014 with number 79)

Erik Cernak (Los Angeles booking 2015 at number 43)

Mikhail Sergatshev (Montreal booking 2016 at number 9)

Colorado Champions 2022

Nazem Kadri (Toronto booking 2009 at number 7)

Darcy Kuemper (Minnesota Reserve 2009 #161)

Gabriel Landeskog (own reservation 2011 with number 2)

Nathan MacKinnon (own booking 2013 with number 1)

Valeri Nitshuskin (Dallas booking 2013 at number 10)

Artturi Lehkonen (Montreal reservation 2013 with number 55)

Devon Toews (2014 NY Islanders draft pick #108)

Mikko Rantanen (own reservation 2015 with number 10)

Cale Makar (own booking 2017 with number 4)

Bowen Byram (own reservation 2019 with number 4)

The biggest question marks regarding Makari were his small size and his background in the Alberta Junior League (AJHL), which had only picked three players in the first round over the years (Brent Sutter, Joe Colborne, Dylan Olsen). Of the trio, Sutter had a great NHL career, but the other two did not.

Following the AJHL was one of the bosses in Colorado’s talent search by Wade Klippenstein responsible.

– I got to know Makari well as a player and convinced the rest of the club about his abilities. It is essential because no one books any player alone, Klippenstein said last summer.

For Makari, the next step in his career also clicked. The direction of the defender was the college series NCAA and the team of UMass Amherst. At the same time, a Finn also joined the group Eetu Torpströmwho had played in KalPa juniors with good success.

Torpström got to see up close how the other right’s kit developed itself towards NHL stardom.

– Makar was a really nice and down-to-earth guy, and he didn’t make any kind of fuss about his NHL booking. Of course, he stood out from the crowd on screen, especially with his skating, Torpström recalls to .

UMass coach Greg Carvel summed up that sometimes star players try to get off easy, but Makar wanted to push himself every day.

– He did everything in 110 glasses both on the ice and at school. Although Makar probably knew that he would go to the professional series during the four-year school, he also focused on his studies and his average was in the doldrums, says Torpström.

For the next season, Torpström returned to Finland and joined the Kiekko-Vantaa Mestis team. Makar continued in the NCAA, where he defected directly to the NHL playoffs at the end of his second season. At last then, everyone saw that the Avalanche had hit a gold mine.

The biggest prize came in June of this year, when the club won the third Stanley Cup in its history. The main roles were played by own reserves Landeskog, MacKinnon, Rantanen and Makar, who was chosen as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

The most decisive factor behind the success is the club’s performance in seven booking events between 2011 and 2017. Without four top recruits, the Avalanche would not be the Stanley cup champion now.

Colorado had a total of five reserves in the top ten in seven drafts. In these shifts, it caught the mentioned star quartet and the striker Tyson Jostin, who was traded to Minnesota midway through last season. He is also a good NHL player.

During the comparison period, only Florida, Toronto, Winnipeg and, to a lesser extent, Edmonton have used their good places even close to as well as Colorado.

The best eye for the game has been used by Tampa Bay, who caught Vasilevsky (19), Kutsherov (58) and Point (79) with high reservation numbers.

This underlines how difficult it is to assess players’ potential at reserve age. The Lightning must have had good knowledge of this particular trio, but still only drafted Vasilevskiy and Kutsherov in the second round and Point in the fourth round.

Colorado, on the other hand, wasted almost all of its second-round or later picks in 2011–17. In other words, the successes were limited to the first round. By making the biggest decisions correctly, the club took off.

Edmonton had the best conditions for improving its team through bookings, which had no fewer than four rounds in the top three and six in the top ten in seven drafts.

Jarmo Kekäläinen led by Columbus shines in how NHL players have grown from reservations. No fewer than 20 Blue Jackets reserves from the comparison years have built good careers in the buck league.

In 2011–17, four NHL clubs did not have a single reserve shift in the top ten. This four was Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington and Chicago, all of which won the Stanley Cup in the last decade.

The title of prodigal son is shared by the New York Islanders and New Jersey.

Picked by the Islanders in 2012 Griffin Reinhart (4), who didn’t break through in the NHL and played last season in Northern Ireland. Two years later, the club was assured Michael Dal Colle (5), who played more than 100 games in the taala league and now appears in the colors of TPS. With hindsight, one could say that instead of Reinhart, for example Morgan Rielly and Dal Colle’s boots David Pastrnakthen the Islanders would look significantly smarter.

The Devils have been seen in the playoffs only once in the previous ten seasons. There is a clear connection between questionable bookings and poor success. With wiser reservations, the Devils’ situation could look much better now.

In 2011, the Devils took by Adam Larsson (4), when there were, for example, Mika Zibanejad (6) and Mark Scheifele (7). Four years later, New Jersey finished To Pavel Zacha (6), and not for example to Zach Werenski (8) or Rantase (10). And the 2017 number one reservation was used for Hischier, and not, for example, Heiskasen or Makari.

The Devils are still paying the price for wrong decisions. Good players are not enough to be the cornerstones of a top team. Only excellent players are suitable for that job.

Top three and best bookings 2011–2017

2011: 1) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton), 2) Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado), 3) Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), 6) Mika Zibanejad (Ottawa), 7) Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg), 15) JT Miller (NY Rangers) , 58) Nikita Kutsherov (Tampa Bay), 104) Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary)

2012: 1) Nail Yakupov (Edmonton), 2) Ryan Murray (Columbus), 3) Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal), 11) Filip Forsberg (Washington), 17) Tomas Hertl (San Jose), 19) Andrei Vasilevski (Tampa Bay), 130) Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg)

2013: 1) Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado), 2) Aleksander Barkov (Florida), 3) Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay), 5) Elias Lindholm (Carolina), 26) Shea Theodore (Anaheim), 77) Jake Guentzel (Pittsburgh), 99 ) Juuse Saros (Nashville)

2014: 1) Aaron Ekblad (Florida), 2) Sam Reinhart (Buffalo), 3) Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton), 8) William Nylander (Toronto), 11) Kevin Fiala (Nashville), 25) David Pastrnak (Boston), 79) Brayden Point (Tampa Bay), 118) Igor Shesterkin (NY Rangers)

2015: 1) Connor McDavid (Edmonton), 2) Jack Eichel (Buffalo), 3) Dylan Strome (Arizona), 4) Mitch Marner (Toronto), 8) Zach Werenski (Columbus), 10) Mikko Rantanen (Colorado), 16) Mathew Barzal (NY Islanders), 17) Kyle Connor (Winnipeg), 35) Sebastian Aho (Carolina), 135) Kirill Kaprizov (Minnesota)

2016: 1) Auston Matthews (Toronto), 2) Patrik Laine (Winnipeg), 3) Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus), 6) Matt Tkachuk (Calgary), 39) Alex DeBrincat (Chicago), 66) Adam Fox (Calgary)

2017: 1) Nico Hischier (New Jersey), 2) Nolan Patrick (Philadelphia), 3) Miro Heiskanen (Dallas), 4) Cale Makar (Colorado)