The Colorado Avalanche knew they had a reputation, and it wasn’t a good one. For years, the organization struggled to develop NHL-caliber defensemen, with top-50 draft picks such as Duncan Siemens, Cameron Gaunce, Chris Bigras and Stefan Elliott failing to make an impact.
Fast-forward and the team is swimming in promising young blueliners. “We got beat up a few years ago because we didn’t have that, so we’ve rectified that problem,” said Alan Hepple, the Avs’ director of amateur scouting. “Probably to the point it’s going to be really good. It’s going to be fun.”
With Cale Makar as the marquee name, Samuel Girard coming in via trade and top-100 prospect Conor Timmins in the system, the Avs were already off to a good start, and then they snagged Bowen Byram fourth overall in the 2019 draf...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.