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Avalanche post draft update Written by Seymour Buttz - August 14th, 2011

The Colorado Avalanche have been one of the busiest teams so far in the off season, making a whopping fourteen trades thus far. This past week the CMHL entry draft took place and it was no surprise that Avalanche GM Bill Kellett was active once agin.

Going into the draft the Avalanche held not a single draft pick and it was looking like they were going to be bystanders while the draft was happening. However in true Bill Kellett fashion the floodgates opened up prior to the draft.

First of all the Avalanche made a surprising deal with the Philadelphia Flyers dealing 2nd line centre Jarret Stoll and minor leaguer Jake Hauswirth to the city of brotherly love for Andreas Thuresson and a 3rd round pick. The deal raised a few eyebrows as it seemed quite lopsided for Philly, however a closer look indicates a method to the madness. Thuresson is signed at a very affordable $450,000 for 2 more years and is still only 24. It brings in some youth and allows the team to clear some cap space entering free agency anf to make sure they can retain all of their own RFAs

Though not holding a pick in the first 2 rounds, the AValanche made it interesting nonetheless. DUring the first round the Avalanche dealt prospect Austin Levi to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward James Sheppard. Sheppard they feel is just coming into his prime and will begin to produce they way he was expected back when drafted. Sheppard enters his 2nd stint in Colorado, this time hopefully will be more productive.

During the 2nd round Colorado may have made the weirdest deal of the draft as they dealt a first rounder in 2015 to Nashville for the 54th pick. They used it to select Seth Ambroz (the deal will be officially announced after free agency when 2015 picks can be dealt). It was a head scratcher for sure, but as GM Kellett puts it, it was a risk worth taking.

"Yes it may seem a little odd,but Ambroz has a great skill set and i know he would have been gone had we waited till round 3. I like the kid a lot and at one time he was ranked in the top 20, so to get him at 54 is still worth while. Trading a pick which is 4 years away does not affect us now, down the road this could make me look like an idiot or a genius, time will tell but i feel we added a great prospect"

Once round one had ended the Avs completed another blockbuster deal, sending young d man Andrej Sekera, goalie Cam Talbot, Raffi Torres the third rounder they got in the Stoll trade and 2 7th rounders to Winnipeg to pick up hulking 6'6 defenceman Jeff Schultz, goalie prospect Alexander Salak, depth forward Brian Sutherby and depth defenceman Matt Walker.

"This deal was tough to make as i like Sekera and saw big upside in him. Torres was gonna be a great 4th line grinder, but these additions give us a rough and tumble defence with Jackman, Jovanovski, Orpik, Fistric and now Schultz but i love the potential of Salak, he was the key to everything. If he is as good as we expect he can be, he will be fighting for the number one job very very soon"

The deals didnt stop there, as prior to round six the Avalanche hooked up with the San Jose Sharks to grab some draft picks. Dealing Casey Borer for 4 6th rounders then trading Stefan legein to Montreal for a 6th and two 7ths.

The picks ended up being: David Broll, Nathan Lieuwen, Jyri Niemi, Joel Lowry, Zac Larazza,Dylan DeMelo and Anton Forsberg.

All in all a very busy day for the Avalanche and a day which hopefully will shape the future of this franchise.

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