Ranking the Colorado Avalanche's pool of prospects is difficult right now because pretty much all of them have not-so-tiny flaws - whether it's smurfs who couldn't hit their way out of a wet paper bag, ruining an otherwise great prospect; guys with actual potential whose time is starting to run out and there's no opportunity for them in Colorado; rover-type defencemen who are all tire fires in their own end and maybe not even that great offensively; or guys who just plain suck.
The most difficult challenge was figuring out which of these guys is worthy of being called No. 1. Quantity over quality seems to have been the slogan of previous (full-time) GMs, when they weren't trading the picks away, of course. But having a lot of depth is a plus.
1. Matthew Freytag, LW - drafted 20th overall in 2016
Well, the organization hasn't had a single first round pick since Freytag was drafted. It looks like he's got previous experience with the big club, but he's spent this whole year so far in the AHL so he fits our arbitrary criteria. Freytag tops out as a good all-around second line winger who doesn't completely ignore the defensive zone, but he's an inch shy of being able to hit. Unlike some older prospects in the Avs' system, Freytag is not far off from hitting his ceilings. He just needs a bit of ice time. Colorado is still shopping a couple of forwards, so he may get that soon.
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