After choosing defenseman Justin Barron on Tuesday night in the first round (25th overall) of the NHL draft, the Avalanche on Wednesday selected four forwards.
Colorado added Jean-Luc Foudy (third round), Colby Ambrosio (fourth), Ryder Rolston (fifth) and Nils Aman (sixth). Ambrosio and Rolston are freshmen at Boston College and Notre Dame, respectively. Foudy will continue to develop with his junior team in Windsor, Ontario, and Aman likely will remain playing in his native Sweden.
Colorado traded 10 spots down and gave Pittsburgh its seventh-round pick to select Rolston, the son of former Avalanche forward Brian Rolston — who played 50 games with Avs general manager Joe Sakic in 1999-2000. It was Colorado’s only trade.
“We didn’t want to lose him,” Alan Hepple, the Avs’ director of amateur scouting, said of Rolston.
Foudy, 18, had 43 points (15 goals) in 59 games for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League last season. Foudy’s brother, Liam, was the 18th pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2018 draft.
“Of course, it’s always an honor, being drafted into the NHL. It’s an amazing experience,” Jean-Luc Foudy said in a Zoom call.
Smilanic, two Pioneers drafted. Ty Smilanic of Elizabeth finally heard his name called 12 picks into the third round Wednesday, going 74th overall to the Florida Panthers during Day 2 of the NHL draft. Smilanic is an 18-year-old freshman at Quinnipiac. The former midget triple-A star for the Colorado Thunderbirds was ranked 24th among North American skaters.
“It was really long,” Smilanic said of the wait he shared with his family at a hotel in Hamden, Conn., outside the Quinnipiac campus. “At the end of the day, I still got picked. I’m still wearing an NHL hat right now. I’m pretty happy. My parents are ecstatic about it. They said they’re on Cloud 9. It’s an awesome feeling to be the reason they’re that happy.”
University of Denver freshmen and longtime teammates Mike Benning and Carter Savoie were selected in the fourth round. Benning, a defenseman, went 95th to Florida, and Savoie, a forward, went five picks later to his hometown Edmonton Oilers.
Footnote. Wyatt Schingoethe, a center committed to DU for 2021-22, was selected in the seventh round (195th) by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Avs’ draft picks
First round (25th overall) — D Justin Barron, 6-2, 195, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Plays for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior League.
Third round (75) — C Jean-Luc Foudy, 5-11, 177, Scarborough, Ontario. Will remain with his junior team, the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, next season.
Fourth round (118) — F Colby Ambrosio, 5-9, 170, Welland, Ontario. He led the USHL’s Tri-City Story with 26 goals and 50 points last season.
Fifth round (139) — F Ryder Rolston, 6-1, 175, Birmingham, Mich. Had 3 points (16 goals) for USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks last season.
Sixth round (167) — F Nils Aman, 6-2, 179, Avesta, Sweden. Had 47 points (14 goals) in 30 games in Swedish junior league last season.