As we sit here on Friday night, the picture of what the Colorado Avalanche will look like in the future got a little clearer. Fans should appreciate that they will be seeing Gabriel Landeskog fighting his way to the net and Duncan Siemens punishing opposing team's forwards for at least the foreseeable future.
You can read about Landeskog in my previous post, but Duncan Siemens was the prospect Colorado selected with the 11th overall pick. Siemens, a 6'2" defenseman out of Saskatoon, describes himself as a "tough, hard-to-play-against, edgy defenseman who takes care of his own end first but has the ability to chip in offensively."
Siemens is known as a shut-down defenseman who will certainly add grit to the Avalanche blue line. He is probably a year or so away from being ready for the NHL, but will make an impact when he makes the team.
Colorado got an added bonus in the fact that Siemens defensive partner on the Blades was Stefan Elliott, a highly touted Avs prospect who is expected to compete for a roster spot next season. Their chemistry could translate to a very successful defensive paring for years to come.
So Colorado addressed two needs with these two picks: the need for a physical, power-forward type player to play along side Duchene or Stastny, and the need for a big, stay-at-home defenseman. Siemens will fill the role that Adam Foote used to have, although he's been compared more to Scott Stevens, another hardcore, in-your-face D-man who will stand up for his teammates.
Overall, I would give the Avalanche an A for their efforts this evening. They kept both of their picks amongst rumors that they'd trade the #11, which was smart. And they took the right players at the right time. They didn't reach for anybody - they knew their plan from the moment the night started and executed it perfectly.
As of 12:00 AM Mountain time, Colorado has no picks in the 2nd or 3rd rounds of the draft that will take place in the morning. Don't be surprised to see the team make a move or two to be able to make a selection in one of those rounds. Should be a good day.