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Avalanche selects Brandon Saigeon 140th overall

Jesse Montano Avatar
June 23, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche used the 140th overall selection in the 2018 NHL entry draft to select Brandon Saigeon of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

A six-foot-two center that plays a solid two-way game, Saigeon was on a Memorial Cup team this year with Hamilton as a 19-year-old (he turned 20 last week). Saigeon set career highs this year in goal assists and points (35-35—70), shattering his previous highs set a year before.

Saigeon definitely has some question marks in his game, his skating being among the biggest of all. He has somewhat of a short stride that makes it hard for him to get to full speed quickly. It’s an area that he’ll need to greatly improve in order for him to be able to make it to the NHL. That said, he has really good size and has worked very hard to improve his game.

Brandon Saigeon deserves a lot of credit for how hard he has worked in recent years to get his play to the level it’s at over his four years of major junior, something that played a key role in the Avalanche taking him in the fifth round. Colorado said that they liked the fact that he just got better and better every year; they see him as a guy who has third line center potential if he keeps improving and working the way he has.

Even though he has steadily improved in all of his OHL years, he still really needs to work on his skating and be more consistent night in and night out in order for him to reach his full potential. There are still too many nights where he blends into the pack.

“A good junior player with limited pro potential, unless he can significantly improve his skating and improve his consistency issues,” said one scout said prior to the draft.

Taking a guy that is a bit of a project in the fifth round isn’t a bad bet at all, especially given that he is eligible to jump straight into the American Hockey League right away. Due to his age, Saigeon and the Avalanche will have the option to either join the Colorado Eagles or go back for his overage year in the OHL. Obviously, getting a guy into your system immediately gives you the benefit of being more hands-on with his development.

Saigeon, even if he never turns into an NHL player, has the potential to be a solid pro hockey player in the Avalanche system. With the Club moving its AHL Affiliate to Loveland, where there is a history of winning, you need players like this to fill out your organization. There is no rush on getting Brandon Saigeon to the NHL; the Avalanche have the chance to help him reach his full potential and get the most out of a and round selection.

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