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Colorado Avalanche Draft Mikko Rantanen 10th Overall

Austin Manak Avatar
June 27, 2015

 

With the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche have selected Mikko Rantanen, of the Finnish Liiga’s TPS hockey club.

Rantanen is the top rated European skater by Central Scouting, and put up 9 goals and 28 points in 56 games with TPS in his 18-year old season in the top Finnish league last year. Rantanen has also represented his native Finland consistently in international tournaments.

Unlike North American draft-eligible prospects, who compete against peers of their same age, Rantanen played against men last season, which may make him one of the most NHL-ready prospects in the draft. A 6’4″ and 212 lb frame further enhances the potential for Rantanen to quickly earn a roster spot on the Avalanche.

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy, have made it known that they would like to build the roster while focusing on three attributes; size, speed, and skill. Rantanen certainly gets a check in all three attributes, and instantly becomes the top forward prospect in the Avalanche organization.

Training camp will be key for the Avs’ Finnish prize, as Rantanen will look to secure a spot in the Avalanche’s top-nine. With Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn being traded earlier this afternoon, prime roster spots will be up for grabs.

A lot to like about this selection on paper. Smooth, skilled forwards with size are a rare commodity, and Rantanen has the potential to give Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, and company an elite talent on the wing for years to come. Rantanen also provides the Avalanche with some forward insurance in wake of the aging Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

The Avalanche are set to make six more selections in the 2015 NHL draft tomorrow, including the first pick of the second-round acquired from Buffalo in the Ryan O’Reilly trade.

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