With the season over for the Colorado Avalanche, the task at hand must be to begin looking towards the future. The Avs had a fantastic season to be celebrated and remembered, but the ultimate task at hand is to improve the team and the first opportunity to do so is at the NHL Entry Draft.
It is unclear, at this moment, exactly where the Avalanche will be drafting, but it is likely to be somewhere in the mid-20′s. We’ll have to see how the rest of the playoffs shake out before we know exactly where they will select. In the mean time, we’ll take a look at some of the players that could fall to the Avalanche on the draft board and see about their potential with the team.
Ryan MacInnis is the son of NHL Hall of Fame Defenseman Al MacInnis, who is most remembered for his amazing slap shot. Ryan currently plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL and is listed as a center/left wing. MacInnis comes in ranked 20th among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting.
MacInnis is listed at 6’3″ and 175 pounds.
MacInnis has great hockey instincts and plays a very solid positional game. He is a smooth skater but doesn’t have much speed or explosiveness to go with it. Still, that strong positional game and good instincts means he finds himself in the right place more often than not. MacInnis has good hands in close and also has a powerful shot, like his dad. Still, his shot needs a little work when it comes to accuracy and release, but a lot of potential.
His size is something that might make teams look at him positively. Right now he’s a lanky string bean (6’3″, 175 lbs), but given more time to grow into his frame, MacInnis could become a bull in front of the net, much like Milan Lucic. That, however, remains to be seen.
MacInnis’s numbers really aren’t all that impressive for a top-20 prospect, but this was his first season in the OHL after spending most of his time in the USHL. In 66 games with Kitchener this season, MacInnis logged 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points. He also had 18 minutes worth of penalties.
Nothing special, but there is a lot of potential there. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.
Here’s why people are turning their heads about MacInnis. Throughout this highlight-reel, you will see him score a variety of different kinds of goals. In close with good hands, darting to scoring areas on the rush, powerful slap shots on the power play, he has a lot of different ways to score. Also, his size doesn’t really hurt him in this league, being only 175, but does give a picture of how he might be able to dominate physically when he does fill out his frame more. Have a look:
Should the Avalanche Draft Him?
In this draft class, which is weaker than many previous year’s, it’s hard to say and it will depend a lot on who is up there with him. One thing that the Avalanche do need to do is continue building up their prospect pool at forward. Last season’s draft was all about defense, and there will likely be more of those taken this year as well, but I believe the Avalanche will need to address their forwards.
MacInnis is the type of player that a team would take a chance on mid-round if “their guy” isn’t on the board, and he’s also the type of player that hasn’t really shown a lot and could fall out of the first round. If MacInnis were there for the Avalanche at their 23rd-25th slot, I wouldn’t hate it if he were taken, but there might be better options.
One thing I will say with certainty, if the Avalanche do select him, there’s virtually no chance he makes the opening night roster. He will need some extra time in Kitchener to not only develop his game, but to physically mature.