Avalanche Selects Seven Players At 2013 Draft

Avs Choose Five Defensemen, One Forward, One Goaltender

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 11:35 PM
Craig Stancher  - Special to ColoradoAvalanche.com

NEWARK, N.J. – The Colorado Avalanche made seven selections at the 2013 NHL Draft held Sunday at Prudential Center.

Following is a complete list of the Avalanche’s selections at this year's draft.

-First Round, No. 1 Overall, Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

-Second Round, No. 32 Overall, Chris Bigras, D, Owen Sound (OHL)

-Third Round, No. 63 Overall, Spencer Martin, G, Mississauga (OHL)

-Fourth Round, No. 93 Overall, Mason Geertsen, D, Vancouver (WHL)

-Fifth Round, No. 123 Overall, Will Butcher, D, U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL)

-Sixth Round, No. 153 Overall, Ben Storm, D, Muskegon (USHL)

-Seventh Round, No. 183 Overall, Wilhelm Westlund, D, Farjestad (Sweden)

Colorado tabbed five defensemen, one forward and one goaltender. The Avs drafted two players from the Ontario Hockey League, and one player apiece from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League, U.S. National Team Development Program, United States Hockey League and Sweden.

The Avalanche selected center Nathan MacKinnon of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads with the No. 1 overall selection in the Draft. MacKinnon, 17, is the first player to be selected first overall by the Avalanche since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995. The Avalanche/Nordiques franchise has drafted first overall on three previous occasions: 1989 (Mats Sundin), 1990 (Owen Nolan) and 1991 (Eric Lindros).

The 6-foot-0, 182-pound center collected 75 points (32g/43a) in 44 contests for Halifax during the 2013-13 season, averaging 1.70 points-per-game. He finished tied for fourth on the Mooseheads in scoring and added a +40 plus/minus rating en route to being named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team. MacKinnon went on to tally 33 points (11g/22a) in 17 playoff games as the Mooseheads won the league championship.

In the second round, the Avalanche selected defenseman Chris Bigras with the 32nd overall choice. Bigras, 18, led all Owen Sound Attack blueliners with 38 points (8g/30a) and a +35 plus/minus rating in 68 games during the 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League season. The Orillia, Ontario native recorded 19 points (3g/16a) in 49 games during the 2011-12 campaign and was named Owen Sound’s Rookie of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year.

On the international scene, the 6-foot-0, 186-pound rearguard won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, where he totaled three assists and a +8 rating in seven games. Bigras also helped lead Team Canada to the gold medal at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and won a bronze medal with Team Ontario at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

In the third round (63rd overall), Colorado drafted goaltender Spencer Martin from Mississauga of the OHL. Martin, 18, appeared in 46 games for the Steelheads this season, posting a 17-21-0-4 record with a .906 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound native of Oakville, Ontario was rated No. 5 by NHL Central Scouting among North American goalies in the final rankings for the 2013 Draft.

Colorado’s fourth-round pick (93rd overall) was defenseman Mason Geertsen, who split the 2012-13 campaign between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.

Geertsen, 18, began the season by collecting four assists and 32 penalty minutes in 15 games with the Oil Kings. The 6-foot-3, 199 pound native of Drayton Valley, Alberta went on to register 10 points (2g/8a) and 98 penalty minutes in 58 games with the Giants following a late October trade.

The Avs used their fifth-round pick (123rd overall) on defenseman Will Butcher from the U.S. National Team Development Program. Butcher, 18, posted 37 points (11g/26a) in 67 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in 2012-13. The 5-foot-9, 191-pound blueliner won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, totaling four points (2g/2a) in seven games. A native of Madison, Wis., Butcher also appeared in six contests for the gold-medal-winning United States squad at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Butcher will join the University of Denver Pioneers for the 2013-14 season.

Colorado’s sixth-round pick (153rd overall) was 6-foot-6, 216-pound defenseman Ben Storm of Muskegon (USHL). Storm, 19, appeared in 52 games for the Lumberjacks this season, collecting 12 points (2g/10a) and 82 PIM. The Laurium, Mich. native has verbally committed to play collegiate hockey at St. Cloud State University.

The Avalanche’s final selection (seventh round, 183rd overall) was blueliner Wilhelm Westlund of Farjestad in Sweden. The 6-foot-0, 184-pound native of Stockholm was rated No. 15 among international skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2013 Entry Draft. Westlund, 18, tallied 15 points (3g/12a) in 33 games with Farjestad Jr. this year and also appeared in 26 contests (1g/0a) with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League.

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