VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The buzz started to pick up a few minutes before the official start of the first round of the NHL draft Friday night. Word was, the Chicago Blackhawks would go “off the board” somewhat and take center Kirby Dach with the third pick. The buzz turned out to be correct. That meant one thing: the best defenseman prospect in the draft was available, the only one to be projected to go on the top 10.
The Avalanche had the fourth pick, and Bowen Byram was still on the board. Not for long. They just couldn’t pass him up. That’s what everyone says about their first-round pick, right? But in this case, the Avs meant it.