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Inside the Avalanche's Draft

Noting Colorado's 2008 Entry Draft Class

Tuesday, 06.24.2008 / 11:15 AM / Features
By Brendan McNicholas
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Inside the Avalanche\'s Draft
Draft Summary…
The Avalanche selected a total of seven players at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, picking three centers,
Fourth round (110th overall) choice Kelsey Tessier was one of three players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League selected by the Avalanche at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa
three defensemen and one goaltender.  Four of the seven players came out of the Canadian Hockey League, including three from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Colorado also took one player from the Ontario Hockey League, one from the college ranks (Northern Michigan), one from a U.S. high school and one from Norway.  The Avs picked five Canadian-born players and one each from the United States and Norway.

From the ‘Q’…
The Avalanche selected three players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, goaltender Peter Delmas of Lewiston (second round, 61st overall), Quebec forward Kelsey Tessier (fourth round, 110th overall) and Victoriaville defenseman Joel Chouinard (sixth round, 167th overall).  Delmas was the first QMJHL player selected by Colorado since Pierre-Luc Emond (Drummondville) in 2001.  The last time the club snagged three QMJHL players in one draft was in 1998, when four were taken (Alex Tanguay, Ramzi Abid, Philippe Sauve, Alexander Ryazantsev).

Norwegian pride…
Jonas Holos, a sixth-round pick out of Sarpsborg, Norway, is the Avalanche’s first-ever draft pick from the country of Norway.  Holos played 40 games for Sparta Sarpsborg of the Norwegian Elite League last year, tallying two goals and 20 assists.  He also competed for Team Norway at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship and recorded one assist in seven games.  Holos was one of three Norwegians taken in this year’s draft, the most-ever in a single year.  Following is a breakdown of 2008 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:

 Country  # of Selections
Canada 119
United States 46
Sweden 17
Russia 9
Finland 7
Czech Republic 3
Norway 3
Denmark 2
Switzerland 2
Belarus 1
France 1
Germany 1
 Total  211

Seconds, anyone?…

The Avalanche traded Brad Richardson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s draft, which it used on goaltender Peter Delmas.  Colorado already had a second-rounder in 2008, tabbing Cameron Gaunce with the 50th overall selection.  This marked the fourth straight year that the Avs have had multiple selections in the second round, as they claimed three second-round picks in 2007, two in 2006 and four in 2005.  Among those picks was Paul Stastny, who was the 44th overall selection in the 2005 Entry Draft.

Ties that bind…
Kelsey Tessier has spent the past two seasons with the Quebec Remparts, who are coached by former Avalanche netminder and Hockey Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy.  Tessier led the Remparts with 36 goals and 81 points last year.  Tessier is no stranger to the state of Colorado, as he played for the Colorado Outlaws in 2005-06, a Midget AAA team that competed in the U.S. prep school ranks.  The Moncton, New Brunswick, native lists the Colorado Avalanche as his favorite team and Joe Sakic as his favorite NHL player.

Worth the wait…
The Avalanche did not have a first-round pick this year, having traded the choice to Columbus for Adam Foote.  Thus, Cameron Gaunce was the club’s first selection at 50th overall.  Colorado was not the last team to draft however---and not even close---as Montreal selected its first player at pick No. 56, Dallas at 59, San Jose at No. 62 and Pittsburgh waited until pick No. 120 to make its first selection. 

In case you were wondering, pick No. 50 is not Colorado’s latest top selection.  The Avalanche had to wait around until No. 63 to make its first choice in both 2001 and 2003. Colorado took Peter Budaj 63rd overall in 2001 and David Liffiton at No. 63 in 2003. 

Friends in high places…
Cameron Gaunce is no stranger to playing with top-end talent, as he spent 11 years with the Markham Waxers organization. With the Waxers, Gaunce was teammates with fellow 2008 draftees Steven Stamkos (1st overall – Tampa Bay Lightning), Cody Hodgson (10th overall – Vancouver Canucks) and Michael Del Zotto (20th overall – New York Rangers).




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