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How Experts Are Grading Colorado’s 2024 NHL Draft

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Grading an NHL Draft right after it takes place doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, especially for a team like the Colorado Avalanche. They traded out of the first round and had just one pick in the first two rounds, so we likely won’t know how they did in this draft for several years.

That won’t stop anyone from immediately grading them, though.

About 24 hours has passed since the 2024 NHL Draft came to an end, and it was an electric one. The Sphere was a fantastic venue, and if the NHL is doing away with the centralized draft after this year (which I think would be a mistake), they’re going out with a bang. The Avalanche made nine selections, all of which came on Saturday, and raised some eyebrows by taking not one, not two, but three goaltenders in this draft.

How do folks think the Avalanche did? Well, everyone is consistent, to say the least. Let’s take a look.

FloHockey – C+

Chris Peters is one of the most respected people in the scouting business, and I think what bumped up Colorado’s score here is one of the later picks they made.

Peters: The Avs traded back a few times and added some picks. Ilya Nabokov had a ton of success this year and is on the older side. Will Zellers and Max Curran were both on my Top 100 and then Christian Humphreys was No. 71 on the list and Colorado got him with their last pick, which I thought was a nice bet on offensive upside. To me, there just wasn’t much top end added with the class as it is, but Nabokov is an especially intriguing player even though he’s a bit older and is below average in size by NHL goalie standards.

The Athletic – C

Corey Pronman: Colorado didn’t pick until No. 38 but got one of my top-rated goalies in Ilya Nabokov. The Avalanche picked a lot in this draft, but without many high picks, it’s hard to truly move the needle in terms of getting legit NHL talent. Some of their late picks have chances to make it, and we’ll see how their development goes, but I think their draft mostly will revolve around Nabokov’s future play.

Daily Faceoff – C

Steven Ellis: Colorado borrowed Montreal’s strategy from last year, taking three goalies. Nabokov is one of the top goalies in the draft so that was a worthwhile pick, and Louka Cloutier and Ivan Yunin are both decent, under-the-radar options. Up front, Will Zellers was dominant with Shattuck’s, but college will be an interesting transition for him. Fisher also had a decent year with Fargo. The real value, though, is in the crease. I’m always a fan of a team taking multiple goalies.

The Score – C

Kyle Cushman: The 6-foot Nabokov isn’t the biggest goalie, and he’s the oldest player taken in this year’s draft. But he also took the KHL by storm last season, winning Rookie of the Year and more importantly, Playoff MVP. Three goaltenders in one class is a bit much, though.

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